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Nature, Healing & Mental Health, Antara Biswas

After completing a bachelor’s in accounting and finance, Antara Biswas took the plunge, switched careers and pursued what she loved doing most, creating art. We caught up with the multitalented artist to find out more about her journey of self-discovery through Islamic art and geometry.

Where do you find inspiration to create work?

Much of what I create draws inspiration from nature. I find the universe concealing symmetries in all its panoramic asymmetry. The colors I see, along with symmetries that I find hidden, all are drawn from nature. As a sensitive person, I connect with people on a very deep level. Though it happens on rare occasions, it’s like our souls have met. Also, being an observant person, I bring out the emotions I see and feel, and render them out on paper using my colors and geometry.

How and why has Islamic art influenced your artistic style?

When I was exploring the oils in my teens, I had dedicated myself to mastering hyperrealism and portrait study. I became more comfortable with portraits and human expressions, but I wasn't finding satisfaction anymore. It was only after the discovery of Islamic geometry that challenged me and questioned my method. As I kept exploring it further, it kept drawing me in deeper. I felt like I was on a path to rediscovering myself as an artist.

What a layperson overlooked as mere geometry, the sheer work that went into crafting the symmetry fascinated me. With time and practice, my artistic style evolved from hyperrealism to contemporary art. I visualized human emotions in color and framed them in geometric patterns. The devotion and flawless craftsmanship that went behind each piece was what drew me towards it and moved me to understand it better.

Do you think the development of Islamic art is important to society? If so, why?

I believe Islamic arts to be the bridge between the visual and spiritual worlds. It moves a person to look beyond what is obvious, it implores us to seek deeper meaning of the universe and its creation.

A disappearing art form, the Islamic arts are in dire need of preservation and protection. I believe that once we start devoting ourselves to Islamic arts, we will draw our attention away from the representational world to one towards the pure forms of nature.

The Islamic arts is a very disciplined, sacred body of knowledge and, I hope that people, especially the youth, discover themselves in their pursuit of this art form as I was able to do. I sincerely believe it would help them better appreciate culture and history. They are breathing artifacts from several centuries ago and traditions of people who have long gone from the world but have still left a piece of them with us.

Can you explain any themes / concepts behind your work?

I derive inspiration from nature. My reasons for creating art stem from emotions that I find myself incapable of expressing otherwise. The themes of my artworks mostly revolve around human emotions and expressions. I focus on a color palette to articulate and express emotions like anxiety, fear, loss, etc.