I am from Bangladesh. I have been in the UK more than ten years, recently won leave to remain, and more recently my family has come from Bangladesh to join me here in Bristol.
My family situation has been very hard during the time of the ‘Belonging’ Project. We had to move home with just one day’s notice. It was very stressful. But finishing the paintings made me calm and that feeling really helped my family. When I told them the story of the ‘Sign Painting’ there was a lot of laughter.
About the project:
‘Dish Together’ Panta Ilish is a traditional Bangladeshi dish of panta bhat (rice soaked in water) with fried fish sliced and supplemented with shutki (dried fish) paste, achars (pickle), alu (potato), dal (pulse) paste, green chilli and onion. People love this food at the Pohela Boishakh Festival, during the Bangla New Year.
‘Sign Painting’ This is about a memorable event for me. A long time ago I was a professional sign writer in Bangladesh. Once there was a big public meeting in our area, involving the former President of Bangladesh. The organisers ordered many banners from me and I worked non-stop through the night. I had only one banner left, the big one for the main stage. I was very tired but carried on despite my exhaustion. Suddenly I fell asleep. After a little time, I suddenly woke up and saw that all my writing on the final banner was fine even though I couldn’t remember writing it! I made this painting thinking about this memorable event.
‘Depression’ So many thoughts and worries are in my head all the time. Many people are suffering from mental illness, and I am one of those people. I know how difficult it is, and I painted this with this in mind.