Friday Review » Art

Updated: August 9, 2013 20:11 IST

Music and lyrics

Harshini Vakkalanka
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Poetry on Canvas: Seema Sathyu’s work
The Hindu Poetry on Canvas: Seema Sathyu’s work

ART: Seema Sathyu’s latest exhibition of works Sarmasti is visual poetry

The title of one of the paintings in Seema Sathyu’s exhibition “Sarmasti” reads “Tose Nanina Mila Ke” or “Since our glances met”. Despite the despairing look on her face, the woman in the painting, composed of light strokes in orange, is serene.

And then there’s Khusrau’s keh mukaris, “Na sakhi paani” and “Na sakhi chanda”, where again there is an obvious reference to the poetry (or songs) in the musical imagery, because she depicts flowing water in the first and the moon in the second. The reference to poetry is reinforced by the couplet she writes in calligraphy on the work.

The poetry is also deeply spiritual, as she shows in “Sare Man Fidaye Raahe” (I will lay my head on the path), which she depicts in bright yellow and then orange lines, dotted with pink flowers surrounded in soothing blue lines. But the path is not a violent one, it is a path of peace as the imagery shows, so the laying down of the head is metaphorical; it is laying down of the ego.

“I listen to a lot of music and read a lot of poetry. Even while I paint there is music running in the background. I also like to conjure up images of Sufi poetry. Many times the couplets are incorporated as words in calligraphy, but the work can be enjoyed even without knowing the couplet,” says Seema.

The body-mind-soul connect is an integral part of her works as she shows, by bathing her characters in a yellow light, such as the birds in “Amaada Fasl e Bahar” (Spring is here) or by the serenity on the faces of the women she depicts.

And so her works, become a connection between the outer world of experiences, as she shows in “The Soul Soars Alone”, where the body is symbolised by clothing, and the inner journey of exploration of the existential question. The inner journey, to her is a beautiful journey as it is presented in rich, vibrant works such as “Hu- Out-breathing of Divine Presence” series.

“The works in this exhibition are spontaneous, they lie somewhere between a drawing and a painting, they are painterly drawings. They are also minimalist — in medium, line, form and colour.” Despite the minimalism, Seema’s works are musical, lyrical, serene and moving.

“Sarmasti” will be on view until August 12 at M.S. Sathyu Productions, Sribhooma 37, 2nd floor, 17th cross, Malleswaram (between 4th main and 6th main). For details, contact 9886303931 or 23347136.

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