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A spiritual journey

Rachel Aeschbach's collection of paintings, `Journey of the Soul', evokes a sense of peace and spirituality.


ART IS a medium of self-expression and today many contemporary artists seek to express themselves through colours.

However, artists employ their skills with a modern sensibility. The Switzerland-born Rachel Aeschbach is one such artist. Her collection of paintings titled, `Journey of the Soul', was exhibited in the city this past week.

Aeschbach painted these works during her stay in Kerala. "Here I can feel the peace and hear the sounds of stillness. It makes an ideal setting to experiment with my creativity," she says. This is her ninth visit to God's own country.

Aeschbach, who has trained in the conventional style of painting, has done realistic paintings, portraits and landscapes. It was in 1998 that her first mandala painting took shape. "Mandala means `holy circle, centre, the substantial'. It helps us to return to our own internal self and gives us peace and joy," she explains. Her pictures are drawn freehand, without using any ruler or compass. The works rise from partly delivered symbols and her own creations, she adds. A social worker, governess and matron by profession, she has also studied psycho-physiognomy, palmistry and spiritual healing and is a consultant in Riehen, Switzerland. Aeschbach also organises seminars and workshops on face and palm reading. Her interest in sublime spirituality surfaces in her recent works that were on display. The series starts with the artist's `Self Realisation' to `The Deliverance', through `The Prayer', `Sacred Dance', `The Awakening', and `Elixir of Life'. She uses a combination of patterns of big and small drops (representing water) with other geometric patterns to evoke the desired effect. Colours, in her works, have a special significance. Blue represents calm, red gives energy, orange activates vitality, spontaneity, and the joy of life while yellow reflects logical and mental energy and golden the union with the divine.

One of her works, `The Deliverance'-- in the form of an open heart, highlighted in red-- explains the chemistry of two souls that come together in this life and separate again, at the dissolution of Karma. In the `Sacred Dance' the soul opens up a bit more than as depicted in `The Prayer'. Similarly, in the painting `Morning Dew', the bright green colour depicts Nature as she awakens in the morning Sun. The artist's paintings of heart, soul and mind reflect her skill at composition through experimentation with form and colour. Aeschbach has exhibited her mandala pictures in Switzerland and Germany.

PRASHANSA ALKESH

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