Artist Ashok Vaidikar’s drawings depict ancient and perishing Shiva temples

Like a sentinel, Ashok Vaidikar stands guard to the exhibits mounted on the walls of State Art Gallery. This is Ashok’s debut exhibition in ink on paper and the artist affirms his love for the old-world charm. Ashok’s eye focuses on the ancient and perishing Shiva temples. The Shiva bhakth that he is laments the apathy shown by the authorities to these temples. “Even the conservation team focuses on one temple and ignores the rest,” he says with anger.

Kalagi Chitapur temple made of black stone in Gulbarga, which the artist visited in the 70s, has been replicated on paper. The Gulbarga fort stands tall as we move around. The Hoskeri hunting palace showcases the love kings had for hunting. The next interesting exhibit is of the Sas Bahu temple (No, this has nothing to do with mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws) in Udaipur. The Marthand temple in Kashmir is an architectural marvel.

The artist has an eye for detailing which is the strong point for his aesthetic designs. In some works, the detailing is so minute like a few spots which have been affected by rain have been brilliantly depicted. In the Yevuru temple’s snake in stone, even the lime wash effect is sketched on paper.

This is Ashok’s debut exhibition and the artist has chosen Hyderabad to showcase his works. “My family was into photography business and we used to come to Hyderabad often. I knew the nook and corner of the city but now the city has changed so much with flyovers. I had to take the help of GPS to find my way to the gallery,” he says.

Working as a senior vice-president of Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art Private Limited in Mumbai, Ashok says at 57, he has finally able to pursue what he likes. “I was busy with life. Now I am able to do what I want to do at my own pace. I don’t take calls after 6 p.m. and focus on my drawings,” he says. With a sketchbook always close at hand, he is constantly drawing in his mind (“I have a photographic memory”). “Sometimes the drawings are left in the sketchbook and other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed works of art.” Drop in at State Gallery of Art to witness an art treasure, which is slowly perishing and listen to some interesting anecdotes from Ashok as he walks you through the exhibits. The exhibition is on July 10 between 10.30 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Ashok will also showcase his work in a group show titled ‘Three Men Show’ at Icon Art Gallery from July 12.