All That Shines
Right from my childhood I was fascinated by the shining and sparkling things around. Embroidery done in zari, tilla, gotta-kinnãri, salma-sitãré added joy to the soul. A woman laden with jewellery held a special charm to me. Playing with the golden and silver sheets of paper was a pleasure. Decorating the walls with the painting of flowers and leaves in gold and silver was a passion for me. The use of such metallic colours on clay toys was a common phenomenon. The spirit of our fairs, festivals, customs and ceremonies glow through this. Shining gumbads and kalash of gurdwaras and mandirs reminded me of the divinely powers. Palaces embellished with gold and silver denuded royal charm and grandeur. In all such manifestations the only purpose that we see is that of decoration.
Art awakened in me at an early age. This inspired me to have a closer look on the works of art created in the East and the West over the centuries. Gold leafs or its ghot were used by Indian artists for painting of mukats, ornaments, garments, borders etc. in the art of miniature painting. Most of this art was produced under the patronage of Rajas and Maharajas so due consideration was accorded to their taste and liking.
The advent of modern era brought with it a new thinking which led to individual freedom. This newly acquired autonomy culminated into a new sensibility and gave the modern period a distinct identity. Though this autonomy was opposed by the then conventional thinking yet it could not stop the surge of creativity. The works of modern art though seen in ornamental frames in earlier times did reflect on the traditional mentality but it soon disappeared. Here in India the use of gold and silver in our Mughal, Rajput and Pahari kalam was very realistic.
All this made me think about the use of gold, silver, copper and bronze beyond its conventional use and explore the tremendous possibilities hidden in these colours. This was also a part of my nature and also in my desire. Moreover the inspiration of my art lies in nature and its eternal music. While enjoying this eternal music I approach my canvas to sing my song on it. The whiteness of the canvas is scary to me. To ward off the scariness I fill up the canvas with just one colour. That colour could be any. In the process I discover in the web of my brush strokes a new rhythm lying beneath them. In such a vast array of strokes I record or register or compose by outlining them with charcoal. Soon my canvas wears a web of different tunes and tones.
In my new canvases the viewer would find the play of colours – gold, silver, copper, bronze and pearl – in as varied a manner as possible. Like the shine of the sun and the moonlit change the day and night into a spectrum of different emotions and feelings thus evoking a special mood, colour and music to each one of them. I try to evoke the same through the shine and sparkle of my colours. An organic feel of the silent activity of nature, intensive chirping of the birds in the low light of morning and evening, the transcendental music of light – all this and much more is an integral part of my creative quest. Light plays in my painting. And in this play the changing tones, textures, hues and shades create a Rãgamala of its own. And in the shine and sparkle of this visual Rãgamala I not only experience my childhood but also the realisation of my own growth.