Adulation for nature, an understanding of biology, and dynamic motifs show up in Paradise Regained

The group show “Paradise Regained” by three artists Radhika Neelakantan, Prakash Ghadge and Ganapati Hedge reflected the complementary characteristics of nature in their styles, considering that nature was the highlight of all their works.

Bright coloured, almost funky flowers and plants were splayed across the canvases of Radhika Neelakantan. She has painted an eclectic collection of flowers and plants — lotus, gulmohar, gingko, water lilies, frangipani leaves and flowers, almond leaves and castor.

Her water lilies were a ripe red with a pink blush on the sides, her ginkgo was almost a butterscotch, creamy yellow with shades of brown over green background, her frangipani flowers were a luminescent combination of pink, orange and purple and her almond leaves were a burst of green, red, yellow and orange.

What's different about her works is that they don't not have the calming stillness of real life, but have the vivid wonderous quality of a world of fantasy, especially in works like “Gulmohar”. “Plant forms interest me and I love biology, with its plants and colours, so I tried to bring both together,” says Radhika, a biology and an art teacher who began painting four years ago.

Ganapati Hegde reinforced the fantastical quality of nature with his series of nature-scapes. His works witness the dynamism of foliage in a forest and the creatures whose home it is, sometimes including some “urban motifs” as they chance upon the scene. His lines are simple, neat and clean. He has stuck to an almost uniform colour palette of blue, green, orange and brown, with hints of bright colours like lavender thrown in. Sometimes, he switches to a grey scale with hints of green or a bright red worked into an element.

“My works are a combination of childhood memories, the sceneries in my native place in Kumta in Uttara Kannada district and my current residence,” says Ganapati.

His “Celebration”, which depicts a decorated palm tree ripe with fruit, is a representation of a “farmer's first crop”, which for him is a celebration. “Apparition” shows a helicopter flying over a ring of trees, from a worm's eyes perspective. “This scenery belongs to a childhood memory where the silence in my village was suddenly shattered by a helicopter. Each work of mine has a different subject and different thoughts associated with it,” adds Ganapati, an artist and a 2009 Lalit Kala Academy Award winner, who works as a designer at a software company. He feels that his work in animation and drawings has simplified his art work, making it more simplistic and less realistic. There are traces akin to animation in his images, like a thick border around the objects in his paintings.

Prakash Ghadge's bare pen-and-ink works are a stark contrast to the colours of Radhika's and Ganapati's worlds, but no less deep. His series of island groves reflected in still water, titled “Reflections” has a few simple elements, but the intricacies in the elements, especially in the tree groves and their reflections are so lovingly done.

One of the stand-outs in this series is “Reflections VIII” where he has depicted a saint offering his ablutions to the sun, standing waist-deep in water. The sunlight on the saint's body depicted using only black ink is quite skilfully done. “I wanted to depict the silence in nature through my series on reflections and I chose to do it through this medium, because there are very few artists in our country who use this medium,” says Prakash, a 1977 graduate of Mumbai's J.J. School of arts.

“Paradise Regained” will be on view at Kynkyny Art, Embassy Square, 148 Infantry Road until November 9. Contact 40926202.

Keywords: art exhibition