It is a well established fact that similarities lead to confusion, and confusion to disinterest. However, the paintings exhibited under the title ‘Engagement with Space’ at the Paryatak Bhavan provide a stark contrast to this philosophy with many paintings of Lord Buddha.
Organised as part of the Buddha Purnima celebrations, the exhibition is an attempt at enriching one’s experience of art and enlightenment through Buddhist sensibilities. Housing a number of paintings which include acrylic on canvas, acrylic on paper and works with water colours, ‘Engagement with Space’ is a conglomeration of various art forms.
Commenting upon the observation of Buddha Purnima, C Sreepathi, a participating artist, says, “I have painted two portraits of Buddha, which have been placed together. They signify Hinayana and Mahayana, the two philosophies of Buddishm - Buddha being worshipped in animal form and as himself.” He also emphasized the need for an artist to have a thorough understanding of history to make accurate depictions. “I studied the life of Gautam Buddha and his evolution through different stages of life. I have tried to depict this in my paintings.”
However, taking a different approach to the subject, K Nageshwar Rao’s exhibits a painting of Buddha in meditation, with a seductive woman holding an amphora of wine.
He explains, “Buddha gave up his earthly desires to become God. Nothing is important to him anymore. I have made this painting to inspire people to achieve greater heights of enlightenment through dedication and perseverence as Buddha did.”
Another section of the collection hosts a number of paintings which are feminist in nature. These catchy exhibits include a woman’s face painted as a blossoming creeper, captured on canvas by Sunirmal Maiti. Gourango Beshai has captivated the beauty of a woman with shades of red and green on the canvas. Ashok Ganguly’s paintings portray women in varied forms and various walks of life. The painting by Rajib Sur Roy, which can be interpreted as woman being one with the nature, caps it all.
Other highlights of the exhibition are works by Sujit Ghosh, who has portrayed chaos in two different exhibits by choosing his colour scheme to depict the idea and manipulating blank spaces in a very captivating manner. Another abstract painting, which depicts the human head as a city in varying shades of blue is a masterpiece by Palash Paul and lights up the whole exhibition due to its relevance to today’s society.
The exhibition where the exhibits’ price ranges from Rs 5000 to Rs 39000, will be on dislpay at the Paryatak Bhavan till May 11 from 10 am onwards.