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Strokes with soul

Vivid expressions of `self-search' is what Bindu Javeri of Mumbai and Monica Talukdar of Dehradun depict


THOUGH THIS exhibition has provided them the first opportunity to meet each other, it is surprising that Bindu Javeri of Mumbai and Monica Talukdar of Dehradun have chosen the same theme for their paintings, that is, a search within oneself. While Monica calls her works `Inscape', a landscape within, a journey of the soul towards eternity, Bindu calls them `The Seeker', reflecting the painful, yet, enlightening transition of a wounded soul into a seeker of truth. Their paintings are somewhat autobiographical — the female figure in Bindu's paintings represents herself, as they are a result of her own experiences; Monica's visit to the Kumbh in Allahabad and the crowd which thronged the site seeking salvation had provided the means to reflect on the philosophy of self-search.

From Gayatri Mantra to a verse of Marcus Aurelius, the sayings of several spiritualists have inspired Bindu to create her visuals. In most paintings like `Autumn', `Flowing', `Paradise', `Aura' etc. she places the female figure amidst Nature — in a wood, banks of a river, near a hill or under a waterfall — expressing a sense of liberation. On the contrary, `Spider's web' shows the woman caught in the webs of the insect, conveying the idea of how one gets irrevocably caught in one's desires. `Silence' inspired from the saying of Mother of Aurobindo Ashram is a depiction of peace and stillness with the female form in the middle of a circular design placed on a vertical grid.

Trained under Abercheff in New York and later under (late) Vasant Kanvinde, Bindu has evolved a style of her own, in which though the female form is not entirely realistic, it suits her subject well. The depiction of Nature for expressing her emotions too is quite attractive; nevertheless the most interesting part is the grainy texture of the painted surface, which has been made possible by the acid paper; it gives the oil paintings the appearance of pastel works.


The idea of peace and silence has been depicted by Monica also with a circular pattern in her work representing "Aum". During the Kumbh, the sadhus could be seen meditating in different ways, sometimes even with their head under the sand. At night, with the moonlight glinting on the waters of the Ganges, the pilgrims moving towards the river, suggested to her the merging of the human soul with the Supreme, which she has depicted in `Pilgrims Progress'. `Shiva Sankalp' shows a flower-decked Lingam inside a shrine. Most of her paintings are simple landscapes but strike a parallel with the inner self. But some of them also deal with woman and her space. Monica has a light touch; her imageries are rather insubstantial; they make one feel that she could have made her statements a little more strongly and firmly. She has taught arts in different institutions and currently teaches the handicapped children at the Dist. Jail, Dehradun.

The exhibition at Prakrit Arts is the first one in the South for both Bindu and Monica.

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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