Painting the Buddha was a challenge for Komal Parmar.

Like so many others of her fraternity, Pune-based Komal Parmar too was tempted to interpret Buddha’s world of peace and love through the language of form and colours. And with so many having done the same already, it posed a challenge for her at the same time.

The determination to take up the challenge was further cemented by Komal’s back-to-back visit to Leh and Bangkok where she learned and got even more fascinated by Buddha and what all he stands for. And then came out 22 paintings revolving around the subject which were showcased in her first-ever exhibition in Delhi at Café Turtle recently.

“I think it’s the peace which draws artists to paint Buddha. It was important to get his facial expressions right and also if you distort the figure then there is no point,” says Parmar.

The colourful Buddha

While somewhere, it was the figure of Buddha that stood prominent, elsewhere, it was the lotuses, banyan tree and its leaves, the prayer wheel which completed the picture to evoke the spirit of peace and calm. For instance, in one of the canvases, the prayer in Tibetan script occupies most of the space with Buddha’s face painted at the bottom. Then there is the meditating Buddha depicted from different angles.

“Usually, Buddha is painted in light colours but my colour palette is bright with red, yellow and orange in it. And the challenge was to lend to the work quietude and peace despite the bright colours,” says Komal, a product of Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. Interested in semi-realism, big bold patches of colour filled in geometrical shapes play a major role on her canvases. Minimalism is another prominent feature of her work.

On to her next exhibition, to be mounted at artists’ centre in Kala Ghoda in Mumbai, the young artist is now working on the theme of trees. “Day-to-day objects interest me but they are always given a twist. I have used dried stems, bark, trunk,” says Parmar promising to return to Delhi with a fresh set of work soon.