KOCHI: At the first glance, you may notice that Kalamandalam Bindulekha’s work, the ‘Voyage of Dreams’, is based on the traditional mural art but on a closer look, a contemporary pattern can be seen in her work.
“It’s all about how the mind works. This is how my mind sees the world and I don’t say that it is how everyone perceives. Each person thinks differently,” says the artist.
Originally, a diploma holder in mohiniyattam and bharathanatyam, Bindulekha feels more connected to painting than the traditional dance forms. She quit dance to pursue her passion for painting. “It is through paintings that I can express well and communicating what’s on my mind is much easier through my paintings than speaking or dancing,” she says.
But her love for dance is reflected in her paintings, giving dance forms a touch of mural art is Bindulekha’s speciality. Her paintings consist of women in a dream-like state with dragonflies, lilies and lotuses around her. She explained this strange depiction with a very simple logic, “I like dragonflies because I feel that our mind is just like one, always restless and cannot be at peace. I am inspired by them. They are small things people tend to ignore.”
Bindulekha’s work is about blending the traditional mural painting and the contemporary art to give it a modern feel. The traditional art form is back in prominence for its unique and formal patterns.
With no formal education in painting, Bindulekha has made her presence known in an art form that was previously dominated by men. She mastered the age-old aesthetic art form from her guru and brother Sadanandan.
“Everything I learnt about this art form is from my brother. It took me sometime to learn, but I believe I imbibed its essence,” says the loving sister.
Her debut work in Sri Vadakurumba kavu temple in Thrissur in 2001 was a turning point, as it is perhaps considered the first mural to be done in a temple by a woman artist. She says, “It took me two years to complete the work in the temple. It was not a time-bound assignment and so I could take my time.”
When asked about her favourite work among the display, she said that it was hard for her to pick one. “Each one is special to me and picking one is impossible. I become very attached to my paintings because I spend most of my time with them. Even when I sell them, I feel as if I’ve lost a friend.”
The image of a woman sleeping on a lotus leaf is something Bindulekha connects to. “When you think about it, it is just the imagination running wild. We cannot actually sleep on a lotus leaf but we can always live a world of fantasy,” she says.
Bindulekha has done a couple of solo shows and group shows in Bangalore, Mumbai and Thrissur. ‘Voyage of Dreams’ is her first solo in Kochi. Her work is being exhibited at Durbar Hall Art Centre till Saturday.