Cosmic colours of angst and consciousness

January 2nd, 2009 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Why do some troubled children turn out to be artists and others turn their sufferings back against the world? According to artist Rajesh Baderia, colours weave their magic on troubled young minds.

Spandan - Lightening up Smiles, an exhibition of 36 oil and acrylic paintings by Baderia at the Visual Arts Gallery at the India Habitat Centre, gave voice to the marginalised population of India through a series of tantric and cosmic art that uses religious symbols and an ethereal colour palette where the shades seemed to melt and merge on the canvas.

With the use of strong colours in his works, Baderia tries to promote harmony and solace taking the conscious to the supernatural domain. The highlight of the exhibition was a canvas, Spandan, a 48 inches by 66 inches canvas painted by children at Dilli Haat, 2008.

Representing a sun floating against a cosmic loop in a coloured infinite, the canvas symbolises an expression of pain, vulnerability, chaos, a city of hope, patriotism, hope and a smile.

“I have a lot of tantric influences in my art because of my associations. It reflects the spiritual aspect of my work,” said Baderia, an engineer with the National Thermal Power Corporation. This is his seventh solo show.

Baderia’s strength is his unconventional colour code in which he uses a vibrant shade of cobalt blue to blossom a cosmic flower on a black base and red to convey serenity though the colour traditionally signifies Ganesha’s base chakra and passion.

His series called Cosmic Flowers, in red and blue, and a canvas titled Krishna in a mottled shade of green and blue with Islamic religious shapes, were rivetting.

The show closed Dec 31.


Space in forms

Wood is central to first-timer Nitu Singh’s art works titled Miene (My Own) which closed Dec 28 at the All India Fine Arts & Crafts Gallery.

Nitu, a human rights students in Bhopal, is an amateur artist with a flair for sculpture and religious themes. Her show was a mix of mythological canvases and sculptures in wood - mostly shishu and devas - purchased in local tribal markets across Madhya Pradesh.

The theme of most of her sculptures and wood etchings are Ganesha, like her logo, which is a miniature Ganesha. What stand out, however, are her wooden frames which according to the artist, are a spillover of her paintings. Her themes, which are elaborate, creep into the old wooden frames in the form of etchings.

“My canvases are big and sometimes I cannot accommodate my figures on the canvas, so I put them on the wooden frames. I carve them on the frame myself. Surprisingly, the frames take less time to etch than the canvas,” she explained.

Her canvases, which she slots into two categories, deal with her devotion to God and her convictions as a student of human rights. A series of pencil canvases titled Women and Girl portray womanhood in tribal Madhya Pradesh and makes a statement about child labour. Two of her sculptures, Ganesha with Tabla and Laxmi in Wood drew attention for their freshness and sense of motion.


Art on digital domain

As technology advances, art is making sorties in new domains like video and computers. Video art is gradually taking off in India with the increasing popularity of digital technology.

Photographer Ajay Rajgarhia’s Wonderwall recently presented a Showcase of Video Installations - a collection of video images and installation art in the capital. The show featured photographers and artists like Ravi Agarwal, Adrian Fisk, Priyanka Dasgupta and Sukanya Ghosh.

According to Rajgarhia, video art, which primarily comprises videotaped images of artwork, installations and graphics, is now finding a market in India.

“It is still nascent but a lot of people buy tapes of video art as drawing room entertainment. They install large television screens to project the images. It forms an effective backdrop for parties,” Rajgarhia told IANS.

The highlight of the show, gauging by the public reaction, was a collage on China depicting the aspirations of the Chinese youth. It was a wish fulfilment package called “In Transit” that documents the desires of China’s young lot such as a good job, education, gadgets and plots of land to till. It threw valuable insight into the country.

The first video art works were created in the West in 1960s. A select group of galleries in India are helping to promote it.

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