The brooding calmness of a Banyan tree as its branches spread out into the sky, the rustle of its leaves and the cascade of its falling roots, have been captured in a series paintings by an Indore-based artist. Titled, "Time and Being", the exhibition by Aparna Bidasaria showcases the magnificence of the Banyan tree, while attempting to signify the close knit relation between man and nature. Using vibrant acrylics on canvas the artist has depicted the different moods of the tree with changing seasons. "The banyan has fascinated me since childhood and that fascination is now embedded in my artistic sensibility and craft. The paintings have been inspired by changing seasons and the reflection of how the tree transforms with time," says Bidasaria. For her, the banyan symbolises the "dance of life and time".
The tree, spreading across acres of space, she says, personifies nature in its full glory. "Its graceful sprawl invites you to swing on its roots, to rest in its shade and enjoy the cool breeze of its leaves," she says. One of her paintings "Safed Dhoop" shows the seamless beauty of nature in greens and white while a set of three paintings titled, "Basant" incorporates vibrant yellows with a touch of white and red signifying the sun. "The tree has many more tales to tell us and through my colours I try to catch the magic it has," says Bidasaria. Curated by art-critic Uma Nair, the ten-day exhibition underway at Triveni Kala Sangam, is also slated to travel to Mumbai in August this year. Nair says it is unusual to find an artist who spends days and months just painting the banyan tree in different reflections of light. "The artist imbues the painting with an essential stillness, harmony and balance. It also brings back her early fascination for the Indian thought in which the banyan is considered both sacred and profane. "From autumnal gold to ochre and amber, her use of warm, bright colours of orange and yellow stand out as a product of her earlier experimentation, marked by abstract expressionism and minimalism," she notes. While talking about the importance of Banyan tree in Bidasaria's artistic journey, Nair says the works are a metaphor of the artist's spiritual feelings. "The works are also a metaphor of her feelings about being an artist, her aspirations for spiritual odysseys as well as her sense of isolation and solitude," says Nair. The show is set to continue till April 26.
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