Paresh Hazra reflects on the two cyclical extremes of peace and violence in his latest series The Apple and The Lotus

The half-eaten golden apple with hints of black looks tainted, almost evil. It hangs off a grey branch with ashen leaves in a grim, dark landscape. The only other spot of colour, in the strips of little gold orbs, appear like spotlights even as the figure of the woman, painted nude with her back to the canvas, comes into the limelight unwillingly. The marks on the bare back of the woman, are evidence of the negativity violently unleashed.

The background is a thicket of black. This is one part of the latest series of paintings by Paresh Hazra, “The Apple And The Lotus” on view at Gallery Time and Space.

“The series is a commentary, in a small way, on woman’s issues. They’re insecure for the sake of their bodies, and by the attractions of man. That is what the apple represents, the mindset of man today,” says Hazra.

“But how long will the anger and violence go on? At some point there has to be peace.” And that is what the lotus series represents.

This series features serene human figures, often in loving companionship with another indicated through their gestures.

The human figures, with their bright skin and vibrant attire, are painted in his trademark style. Abstract motifs, often defined by zig-zagging lines fill the spaces around them. And the lotus, with its bleached tips against deep green stems represents serenity and peace, according to Hazra.

“There are lots of lotus ponds in Shantiniketan and I also keep a lotus pond in my house. I borrow from reality and I use my own imagination to paint. And my paintings are an experience, to be seen and felt, they don’t really have a story.”

The canvases, rendered uncommonly in old egg tempera, are rich and layered in their colours, textures and layers. And the backgrounds with their resonant metallic tones are filled with Hazra’s lyrical imagination and craftsmanship.

“The Apple And The Lotus” will be on view until December 30 at Gallery Time and Space, 55, Lavelle Road. For details, contact 22124117.