Monday, June 20, 2011

Year 2011, leaves a mark on my journey.........

As I walked through the first half of 2011,each day was filled with the fascinating experience of discovering this wonderful relationship that evolved between me and each piece of canvas. I had always felt the urge to illustrate Tagore’s songs and poems and decided to have a solo exhibition of my paintings on this special occasion of his one hundred and fiftieth birth anniversary. While reinventing my interpretation of his works and exploring the visual content of my expression and skill on the canvas, I enjoyed every bit of the experience that nourished my thoughts and my journey through this joy of creation.
Growing up in Kolkata, the birthplace of Tagore, I was significantly influenced by the trend set by this genius. My mother was educated in Viswa Bharati, the educational institution founded by him. She created in me, a deep interest in Tagore’s works and philosophical thoughts. She  taught me to appreciate art in its various forms and was my constant companion in my journey through art. All types of performing art that I learnt or took part in, had something to do with Tagore’s creations. Be it singing,dancing,stage decoration,costume designing, or dressing up a bride,one could clearly see in my presentation,the influence of the style referred to as ‘Santiniketan' style,a style developed by Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose, the doyens of the Bengal school of art.
Tagore lived and worked during a period of crucial social and political transformation in India. He responded to its intense moments through his works. He wanted all human beings to be treated equally regardless of the country or nation to which they belonged. He also did not want barriers between people even within the same nation—the barriers of caste, race, and religion.Through his work, Tagore has captured every aspect of life in its ultimate poetic fashion that creates waves in the mind of the reader and allows deep realization of humanity in its universal context. Appreciating Tagore’s creation requires one’s ability to fathom the underlying symbolism and experience the spiritual realization associated with it.Each of my work had a story to tell and the more I tried to express my interpretation of Tagore’s creation, the more I discovered its variety and depth of understanding. Every time I started a new piece, I received the inspiration from within.
In Tagore’s words, ‘Life is perpetually creative because it contains in itself that surplus which ever overflows the boundaries of the immediate time and space, restlessly pursuing its adventure of expression in the varied forms of self-realization.’
I would start with the sketch of an image of the song or the poem I wanted to illustrate............

...............and then colour it using the program doodle in my Ipad. This enabled me to alter the composition till I felt satisfied with it. This would serve as the miniature sample.

I would then enlarge the sketch and transfer it to the canvas and start working.The final outcome :

I used a lot of dynamic colours, and my composition would reflect my interpretation of the song that inspired the painting. Combining traditional and contemporary styles I painted 15 works in acrylic,1in mixed media, 4 in water colour and two pencil sketches of Tagore within a span of 6 months.My first solo exhibition, 'Timeless Tagore’ was held at the Gallery of Gnani Arts, Singapore, from 7th to 17th May,2011.

Invitation brochure
Singapore Gallery Guide-e-isuue May 2011
Tamil Murasu
It was a great experience. It received good reviews from collectors and the media. I was happy with my work. The overall experience felt like the opening of the doorway to my creative expression - it was more of a spiritual journey that led towards discovering and expressing myself to the world. I suddenly felt very light as my fear was gone ! 
My works for this exhibition can be viewed on-line at The Gallery of Gnani Arts, Singapore  and on my website along with the translations of the songs.
On 2nd May I was invited by ISEAS to exhibit few of my works on 5th May, during the occasion of unveiling of Tagore’s bust by the Indian minister of foreign affairs, his excellency,
Sri.S.M.Krishna and the circular was out with my works displayed on it. 
By then I had already submitted my works to the gallery and the logistics for transporting the works was not sounding OK to me. I agreed to bring the two pencil sketches of Tagore’s portraits and quickly did two paintings. It was a good test of my skills. 

Mid way through my exhibition, I had to leave for USA to attend my daughter’s graduation ceremony. She completed her PhD in neuro-biology. It was a good break for me. I visited a few galleries and enjoyed our trip on Amtrak along the West coast with our daughter. The day I was leaving for Singapore, I received a call from my grand daughter from Boston requesting me to fly over to Boston the next day. I promised her that I will try to be there soon and left for Singapore.
Upon my return to Singapore, I received the press cuttings from  Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese equivalent of Strait Times.

1 comment:

Nivedita Das Narayan said...

Dear Aunty, visited your blog after ages and as always brought a smile and happiness to me! lovely to see your passion / art on display . How is Calcutta treating you?
Miss you, Nivedita