Khandakar's artworks deal with the transformation of a written linguistic expression into a pure visual representation. Thus, she works with a text, as a picture where the meaning can be known by ‘seeing’ it and not by ‘reading’ it.
She mainly focus on Biblical stories and uses the original scripts to create visual narration, where the lines of the reordered letters form a new perceptible meaning out of the linguistic content.Therefore, the emphasis is on the visual and material characteristic of writing. Where the letter forms and the way they were laid out on the surface generate the narration. She uses the letters of a certain text as mark-making gestures, plastic forms with personality or as elements of a pictorial composition where these individual units in a new order create a different reality.
This painting is inspired by the story of the Biblical Yiftah who vowed a vow that had serious consequences. It is narrated by the composition of the reordered Hebrew letter – which behaves as the construction of the line that divides, creates, orders and controls – and the expressive power of the colours.
“I use the original Hebrew text as not only the subject but the object of the painting as well. Therefore, by `picking up` one significant part of the text (it can be a word or a sentence…) for one panel and using it not as verbal expression but as visual contractions of the line, I create an image out of verbal notions by reordering the letters, that tells the `story` visually and not verbally. As the technical aspects of the painting I would work with oil underpainting and glaze several layers of colours (using dry pigments) with varnish, to create a glass-like surface.
“My artworks deal with the transformation of a written linguistic expression into a pure visual representation where the text does not force me to read it and understand it as grammatically constructed semantic notions. Thus, I work with a text, as a picture where the meaning can be known by ‘seeing’ it and not by ‘reading’ it. In most of my projects I focus on Biblical stories and use the original scripts to create visual narration, where the lines of the reordered letters form a new perceptible meaning out of the linguistic content.”
Born in 1977, in Eger, Hungary, Bernadett Khandakar completed a Bachelors degree in Drawing and Visual Communication at Eszterhazy Karoly College between 2004 and 2008 before graduating in Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art in 2012. She started her MSc in Heritage and Cultural Tourism at Edinburgh Napier University in 2013.
With thanks to The Saatchi Gallery for information about this artist.