A landmark exhibition, which promises to enliven Delhis art scene and transport viewers into a world of spiritual calmness and intense reflection has kicked off here with Indore-based artist Aparna Bidasaria showcasing a tapestry of evocative paintings of the banyan tree.
Aparna's paintings, glimpsing the tree in the time zone of sunrises and sunsets over seasons, are being displayed at the exhibition "Time and Being" at Shridharani Art Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam here.
Curated by noted art scholar and critic Uma Nair, the 10-day exhibition, which began on Monday evening, has a total of 30 paintings in monochrome and colours that stand out for artistic exquisiteness, meditative quality and compositional harmony. It is both a visual grandeur and an experiential delight that compels the viewer's attention on the entrancing nature of paintings.
"This tree has had a mesmerizing impact on me since my childhood. It gives a perspective of life and I have always had an overpowering itch for its articulation. I have now tried to express it through my paintings on softer palettes," said the artist, who uses charcoal, pastel, ink and acrylic as medium to capture the banyan in its myriad hues.
Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of the Modern Art (NGMA), who was the chief guest at the opening of the exhibition, said that these paintings are a celebration of the power of nature in an aesthetic manner.
"Nature is powerhouse. We need to go back to it to learn more. It is interesting to know that Bruce Lee learnt his martial arts from water?. Trees are like messengers of our prayers to the Supreme Power," he noted.
Curator Uma Nair said it is rare to find artworks based on a single tree as the art world is largely obsessed with figurative works. "It is absolutely unique. I don't think anybody has ever attempted to portray the banyan in so many facets with such an aesthetic sensibility on the canvas," she noted.
Aparna's paintings are like a meditation on the banyan tree. "Her works talk to you about the everlasting power of trees, which stand like sentinels of time. The tree not only sustains us but also gives us fodder for all kinds of art, be it music, painting, sculpture or literature," the curator said.
On the occasion, a catalogue of the paintings was released by Mr. Gadanayak; Savi Savarkar, Head of Applied Arts, College of Art, Delhi; and Alok Kumar, solicitor.
The April 17-26 exhibition was first held at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal in February with lesser number of entries. It is set for a replication, with some more additions, at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai from August 14.
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