Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top British diplomat in Dhaka hosts scrap metal sculptures show

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-02-17 01:30:25 BdST


The garden of the British high commissioner’s residence in Dhaka has provided a unique setting for a solo exhibition of Arham-ul-Huq Chowdhury’s latest series of scrap metal sculptures.

Arham has created those sculptures in the workshop of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), using the leftover pieces of metal after the wheelchairs and other mobility aids are constructed.

CRP is a project of the Trust for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Savar, an organisation working across a broad spectrum of disability, especially spinal cord injury where even the poorest of the poor receive treatment, rehabilitation and vocational training.

It was founded by Valerie Taylor in 1979, who has been working since 1969 in Bangladesh in the field of disability.

Arham is trained in anthropology and has held solo exhibitions including pioneering in furniture, Bangla calligraphy, natural dye and Bonsai.

A volunteer for more than 16 years at CRP, the artist held a similar type of exhibition entitled ‘From the Ashes’ at the Bengal Gallery in 2005.

High Commissioner Alison Blake opened the daylong exhibition, and said those who saw Arham's work would be “inspired by the transformations worked by the artist on metal as well as by CRP in transforming lives of the disabled and paralysed”.

“Arham has devoted all proceeds from his work to CRP, and I hope that this exhibition will encourage as many people as possible to support their work,” she said.

The exhibition was titled on ‘Hard emotions’, which was previously shown at the Alliance Francaise in Dhaka in September-October 2016.

The artwork is available for sale and all proceeds go directly to the CRP to support its work.

"Every incident evokes emotions differently to different people, in a game someone’s defeat is another’s triumph. The same incident can appear differently to different individuals, based on their various emotional attachments to it. It is all about portrayal,” the artist said explaining his works.

“Here, in this series of sculptures, emotions are being captured with a hard material made of iron, in fact pieces of scrap metal,” he said.

“Made in a workshop where various mobility aids are made, the pieces are constructed with the offcuts and salvaged broken parts, hence the title of the series ‘Hard Emotions’”.