Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Wise Form

The Wise Form: Lord Ganesh on a Water Palette and Canvas

(Park Gallery, Oct 2008)

A prominent figure in the pantheon of Hindu Gods, Lord Ganesh is revered as the God of wisdom. His manifest form takes one by surprise, at first glance.

The series of paintings of Lord Ganesh on exhibit at the Park Gallery could be described as a study of vision, deep colours in screens of water, and light pencil strokes of form. Softness of paint, rarely an experiment, serves to imprint the subject on a canvas of natural motifs such as clay designs, leaves in winter, and the angular rays of the sun at different times of the day as they bathe a window panel with warmth.

Interesting though the mix may be, the colours evoke the traditional Vastra or sacred cloth used to adorn the deity and his consort - a blend of saffron, ochre, red, rose and light burgundy. The translucent effect that emerges dramatizes the light, colours and form with subtle evanescence.

Warning signs appear with the proverbial snake entwined in different poses. Layers of opaque meshes typify the complex nature of traditional Ganesh worship. Each painting in the series is given a human meaning with the expressive eyes emoting shy wisdom.

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