May 30, 2012 at 08:59am IST

The valley of flowers

BANGALORE: Arunava Mondal has regularly showed his paintings in Bangalore over the last few years. For his first solo exhibition in the city, the 32-year-old artist from Kolkata chose to bring us flowers from his imaginary valley.
Arunava has a passion for flowers since he studied at Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan. In the quiet environment of the art school, surrounded by garden and nature, he started sketching, drawing and painting flowers.  
Not the flowers he could see around him. But the flowers he created. They surely look like beautiful flowers, delicate and fragile. But nobody can pluck them and take away their beauty. A sense of eternity floats over Arunava’s canvases.
The artist was tired of the crowded busy cities with their noise, pollution and all the stress that was created by man himself. He was fed up of reading newspapers and watching TV programmes dealing only with the problems.
He was sad to observe the concrete jungle taking over nature a little bit more every day.
As a reaction, he consciously creates moments of peace. His fantasy flowers take the viewers away from reality and he believes ‘help relieving their minds’.
And while watching his paintings, one can surely feel a soothing effect, something that makes one smile and breathe for an instant : a break in our busy lives.
Arunava found a very personal style to communicate with his audience. His flower paintings are all duo-chromatic­­— white for the flowers and red, blue, yellow or purple for the other one.
He sensitively plays with the different hues of the colour he chooses and makes sure the flower, one and unique, takes over the painting.
The flower is white, or so we perceive it. It is actually made of hundreds of thin and precise lines that form the petals, the pistil and the stem, rarely the leaves.
The technique reinforces the fragility of the imaginary flower.  On the one hand, it creates a frail equilibrium on the canvas that the viewers can perceive as an ephemeral visual pleasure.
On the other hand, Arunava represents the flower with a very predominant pistil and lots of stamens flying around.
The female and male organs of the flower meeting together should logically lead to reproduction and multiplication of the flower, as if the artist wanted to create a sense of atemporality. His unconscious opposition between the ephemeral, the fast dying, and the atemporal, the long living, perhaps conveys to the viewers a broader message: inner peace is hard to find; once found, cherish it.
The Valley of Flowers, a solo show by Arunava Mondal, is on till June 3 (Sunday) at Savannah Sarovar Hotel.