Cosmos Atelier71 Studio’s workshop rejuvenates printmaking genre

Thursday, November 9th, 2017


The 6-day printmaking workshop organised by Cosmos Atelier71 Printmaking Studio at Cosmos Centre was just the dose printmaking needed to re-establish itself as one of the most promising genres for artists in the country today. Held on November 3-8, the workshop was conducted in two phases, the first from November 3-5 by renowned Bangladeshi artist Rokeya Sultana, of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, while Uttam Kumar Bashak from India conducted the latter phase from November 6-8. Twelve noted and emerging artists from all over the country participated in the workshop.


The workshop focused mostly on etching/intaglio techniques of printmaking. Etching/intaglio is traditionally the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (incised) in the metal. In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may be used on other types of materials. As a method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints and remains in wide use today.


Speaking to Dhaka Courier, Rokeya Sultana revealed how printmaking is her favourite among all the art forms. A graduate from the first ever printmaking batch way back in 1977, she said that by conducting this workshop at a printmaking studio, she has fulfilled a vision that was etched into her by her teachers, the great artists Safiuddin Ahmed and Mohammad Kibria. She focused on the soft ground technique, which is an acid resistant coating that has the character of a pencil or crayon drawing. Anything pressed into the soft, waxy ground–with a texture such as lace or fingerprints–will cause the ground to yield under pressure, removing the ground and revealing the plate for etching. The longer the soft ground plate is exposed to the acid, the deeper and wider the line becomes.


Appreciating Cosmos Atelier71 Printmaking Studio for arranging the workshop, Uttam Kumar Bashak said it will help Bangladeshi young artists enrich their experience. An assistant professor of graphic arts at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, he was amazed by the type of machines and equipments witnessed at Cosmos Atelier71 Printmaking Studio, and so had agreed to collaborate with Cosmos Atelier71 Printmaking Studio. He imparted his wisdom among the participants on the intaglio technique.


The artworks produced from the workshop, as well as those belonging to Rokeya and Uttam, will be showcased in an exhibition at Gallery Cosmos on November 10.

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