Drawings explore impact of Covid on mental health

Artworks by Mahmudur Rahman Dipon.

Artist Mahmudur Rahman Dipon has explored the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on mental health in a solo exhibition under way at the Gallery Kaya in Uttara, Dhaka.

The exhibition titled Dark Time began on May 14.

Eminent artist Professor Shishir Bhattarjee and mental health specialist Helal Uddin Ahmed were present as guests at the inaugural ceremony.

Helal Uddin Ahmed said, ‘Dipon’s artworks, created with black and white charcoal strokes, have perfectly captured the mental health condition of people during Covid lockdown.’

The artworks not only helped Dipon to overcome the stress caused by the Covid situation but also helped his friends on social media to bounce back.

He is displaying 73 charcoal drawings, that were created during government-imposed lockdown to curb Covid-19 spread, in Dark Time.

‘I have created nearly 500 charcoal drawings during the Covid-19 crisis. The creation of these drawings worked as a mental therapy for me. I also regularly posted these photos on Facebook. Many of my virtual friends acknowledged later that these works helped them to overcome mental health issues,’ Dipon told New Age.

The artist has displayed two self-portraits in the exhibition.

One of the self-portraits shows a close-up view of his face in white and rest of the canvas is black.

In the second self-portrait, the artist’s face has been drawn using dark color and shaded into many pieces on a white background.

Dipon talked to New Age about the theme of his exhibition and choice of medium.

‘I captured the mental depression and frustration of urban people in my drawings. I portrayed how they were feeling in my charcoal drawings,’ he said.

His artworks titled Entry, Exit and Exit II show naked human figures walking through dark doors. Dipon elaborated on the theme of the works.

‘The artworks show naked humans walking into darkness through the doors. This represents the uncertainty and the stress it caused at the time of the Covid-19 crisis. The figures are naked because they are leaving behind everything while being engulfed by darkness,’ explained Dipon.

Doors and windows appear time and again in his artworks titled New Normal, Waiting, Uncertain, Window, Illusion and others.

‘As we spent most of our days inside our homes during the lockdown, doors and windows became our only link to the outside world. I have used doors and windows in my works to depict the human longing for freedom,’ Dipon concluded.

The exhibition will end on May 25.

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