Visitors pass through a small room, full of bold, layered colour, that leads them into to Fahmida Hossain Urmi’s contemporary expressionistic Angles of Relationships exhibition at Ame-Art.
Ame-Art is a non-profit collective that houses Mile End artists’ work and displays one gallery at a time, currently Urmi’s second exhibit. After receiving her masters in art in her native country of Bangledesh, Urmi moved to Canada to create and display her work, slowly integrating with Montreal culture after learning French and English. At the vernissage of Angles, Urmi explained that her greatest joy from the show is finally feeling like a true member of the art community.
Urmi’s paintings portray this theme of interpersonal connections through layered colour and inconsistently-shaped bodies. They are made with thick layers of paint, creating a heavy effect.
“Each colour represents the synopsis of a feeling,” Urmi explains. The paintings are so full because people always carry many emotions, but only present the one currently felt the most.
Without faces, or even defined shapes, the colours express the entirety of the paintings’ message. There are some human forms silhouetted in several pieces, but they have neutral stances and only convey expression through their surrounding colour and proximity to similar silhouettes. Each painting presents itself as a collection of distinct shapes and colours that somehow flow together and evolve with further examination.
“They capture an emotion. Certain moments we feel, but don’t notice. Then there’s a spotlight and you realize your connections to those around you,” Urmi says.
Angles of Relationships 06, 07, and 08 are a set of paintings which centrally feature what is vaguely the same facial shape outlined in black, with an assortment of individual colours and details. Each of the three display a different feeling based on the same shape: 06 is chaotic, 07 is playful, and 08 is inspiring. These three pieces include magazine pictures, making them the only ones to include a medium besides paint. The picture on 08 includes the caption “Life’s Too Short,” and, painted underneath, “Live it!”. These are the only words in the entire exhibition.
Of Urmi’s 23 pieces, 11 bear the title Angles of Relationships, while the rest are either Sans Nomer or from her previous exhibition, Prismatique Relations. These other paintings are not as dramatic as her newer work, but add to the theme of the gallery. Regrettably, even with these additions, the works only take up one room.
Although this exhibition includes interesting paintings that may be enjoyable to ponder, there is only one room at Ame-Art, and the quality of the art does not make up for its small quantity. For this reason, Angles of Relationships does not merit the 20 minute bus or bike ride from McGill campus. However, if somebody were to find themselves within a block or two of the galleries, they might want to take a few minutes and peek inside.
Angles of Relationships is on at Ame-Art (5345 Ave. du Parc) until Sept. 22. Admission is free.