The patterns evolve to the tune of music - a bird perching, a pensive woman, elephant- the images within the images in gold are striking.
Exploring new frontiers in the field of line sound and meditation, Suresh K Nair, assistant professor of Visual Arts at Banaras Hindu University, has created a kind of ‘jugalbandi’ by translating music into mystical forms. Inspired by music, Suresh, who absorbs the divine, transcendental and meditative feelings from the reverberation of loud music puts his experiences on canvas using his pen and brush. Later they are transformed into gold leaf prints using Banaras printing technology. The forms and images trace their origin to Tanjore paintings.
The artist has created over 3,000 to 4,000 abstract paintings over the past five years. He has exhibited 28 works in ‘Singing Mind’, at Nanappa Art Gallery on Karikkamury Cross Road.
The mystical feeling that evolves when an artist detaches himself from the physical and experiences the ambrosial feel of music is depicted on a canvas. “When I paint I am never in the physical world. I find myself in a trance wherein there are just colours and music,” says Suresh. He compares his paintings with Haiku , a Japanese form of short poetry. The minimalist frames are layered with meaning.
Without shading or sacrificing the purity of the abstract quality of line, Suresh has convincingly brought out the music in his pictorial flow. There is rhythm in movement of the lines that also establishes a link with the space.
The idea of gold leaf prints were derived from the classical south Indian painting style of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. As the works look more like a congregation of letters, Suresh has plans to incorporate techniques featuring Japanese, Chinese and Islamic calligraphy into his next line of works.
Suresh K Nair is also adept in murals. He received his initial training at the Institute of Mural Painting, Guruvayur. Later on he won the Fullbright Fellowship and moved to study ceramic and terracotta mural at Temple University in the United States.
The artist hopes to conclude the show in his hometown of Vellinezhi in Palakkad.
Suresh loves to experiment. “The endeavour is laudable for the oscillation of creativity and imagination between two worlds - of music and of art,” says an enthusiast.
No two works are similar. “I work according to my moods and ideas and an autobiographical element enters the frames. Artists should not work under compulsion as it will affect their creativity,” says Suresh. The synergy that ‘Singing Mind’ evokes is not only inspiring but also invigorating.
Being his first solo exhibition in Kochi, Suresh has selected works that cater to the public. The travelling exhibition which started out in Varanasi has Kochi as its second stop.
The exhibition will be on till Sunday after which it will move to Goa.