Sep 26, 2023
Sep 26, 2023
Mention Japanese or Chinese art and immediately a few images conjure up in the mind...of samurai, quaint old bridges, softly rounded hills and more. Mention Indian art and the mind is deluged with a variety of images, none of which can be considered singularly representative of Indian art. Yet, the work of artist Jayasri Burman, exhibited at Delhi's Shridharani Gallery recently, definitely reflects a quality of 'Indianness'.
Post marriage, her commitment to art became integral to her thought process - symbols and motifs seamlessly wove themselves as references from her childhood. "On starry nights, while we sat on the terrace, our elders would relate mythological stories and all those characters would mesh into themes that emerged as art motifs in my work. Now, when I am asked where I get my mythological references for my work, my answer is that they do not coincide with any authentic narrative but are figments of my childhood imagination that have surfaced on the canvas as figures and forms that I paint."
Thus the Brahma depiction at the top of one such conglomerate stimulates one's memories of myths but none of the known ones seems to fit this jigsaw of terrestrial and ethereal detailing.
And then there are the colours from her palette, of which red is predominant. Contrasts are produced through stark white or turmeric or ochre or blue and the subjects change from mythology to reclining females, rotund and indulgent, complete with hand fan, a cluster of soft pillows and the sensuous pleasure of a leisurely afternoon nap. Lingering over the composition, one can almost feel one's eyelids begin to droop and the feet begin to sag. "Her face is not real," says Burman, "but I make sure that all my creations are natural. She is the charming delicate side of woman; her comfortable posture suggests a kind of intimacy, as we all like to indulge ourselves."
From ice blue maidens and deep dark pools, Burman's art has taken a quantum leap into flirtatious oranges, strident sunlight, and the earth sprouting into fantasy growth. This is the unrestrained, experimentally inclined side of an artist who wants to make a statement of breaking free in symbolic and narrative terms.
Yet the leitmotif of water creatures, are ever recurrent in her cosmos of vermilion and sunshine. Is this a limiting factor then? The artist is candid. "I don't know but I can't think of painting without them. In real life I can't swim despite my father taking me to the water's edge and trying to coax me into the waters. I just sat on the pool edge, admiring the other folk in the water, fascinated and drawn by the sense of adventure and yet not having the courage to step in myself."
Perhaps Burman is this onlooker sitting by life's edge - creating exuberant tones, holding everyday reality in an impressionistic sheath, painting memory, legend, and a little bit of her own self, into a splendid panorama of myth and reality.
More by : Subhra Mazumdar
|i was frantically trying to c u on web... u look wonderful|
|after a lonf long time came acress an article of jaya. i am a distant cousin of hers and live in kolkata ( lake town) . i always admired her form of art and appreciated her paintings. it would be wonderful if she goes through this comment and writes back to me. she calls me "bula" da....my nick name.|