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Canvas of fresh air

Surya Prakash infuses a new vitality in his latest works in terms of approach, medium and images. This exhibition, titled `Dream of Nature', is mounted at Art Gallery, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute till July 19 and will subsequently be displayed at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai between July 28 and August 3.



SERENE SCENE: The artist adopts a different medium to paint.

SURYA PRAKASH's foray in art which began in the 1960s,has seen him grow and evolve as an artist. The creative impulse in him is evident in the works he has painted over the years - the abstraction in his forms being the basic factor. The forms are largely to do with nature at least in the last few decades - leaves, pebbles, water and flowers have appeared, floated and grounded on canvas. It is as though forms of nature have transmuted through his skilful hands. Today, Surya Prakash's canvases (on display at Art Gallery, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute) convey a new language - a new visual vocabulary of the artist.

Some of them are like a breath of fresh air - infused as they are with a vitality in terms of colours and textures. The hues are brighter, the surface is different and more importantly, there is a change in medium from just oils to acrylics and oils. This could be a paradigm shift of sorts for an artist who has ceaselessly worked in oils. The approach has changed, so has the imagery. The orchestration of colour and form seems to be a thrilling exploratory and experimental journey with some surprises as well. "Earlier I felt that the paint should be wet and I should finish part by part. I got fed up of painting in a phased and systematic manner. I did not think of taking the risk then. The only way was to change the medium," he says. Of course the change is not totally drastic. But there is a new visual vocabulary.

"I wanted the freedom so I broke away to do the new set of paintings titled `Dream of Nature'," he says. This is a celebration of nature. This new-found freedom is reflected in the gay abandon with which Surya Prakash has `splashed' colour. He now sprinkles or even pours acrylic colours and then works/manipulates the images which occur by the splash of colour. "This increases the longevity of the painting too," he adds.



ARTISTIC FREEDOM: Surya Prakash creates a new language. — Photos: K. Ramesh Babu

Yet another difference is the main element has reduced in size to almost a `miniature'. However, remnants from his earlier`Pool of Life' series remain in some way or the other - pebbles, water, flowers and so on. After all, an artist does not change overnight. "I slowly create new images from my own roots," he elucidates.

The cognitive perceptions manifest in various ways. Nature metamorphoses into a `landscape' - largely abstract at times. Some of the works have an `impressionistic' effect. The underlying elements are not too difficult to decode - be it a blade of grass, a tree or just a mosaic of colours. Some have a rhythmic flow, some are bright, while in some a melancholic feeling is conveyed. It looks as though the artist is on a solo journey. There is a stillness in the works. No fury is evident save perhaps for a thorny scrub in one or two. The depiction is more mellow and subtle and there is no dramatic effect. This medley on nature has a simple vision, approach and final effect.



DREAM OF NATURE: This is a colourful mosaic.

While this is just the beginning of a new technique, the artist has to go a long way before he is really able to convey anything. There is a sense of `nebulousness' in some of his works that can be rested in his future attempts.

The exhibition is open for viewing between 10.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. till July 19 at the Art Gallery, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute.

RADHIKA RAJAMANI

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