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Updated: August 7, 2013 20:02 IST

The canvas of devotion

Harshini Vakkalanka
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Divine Art: Vinod Banaik
The Hindu
Divine Art: Vinod Banaik

ART: Vinod Banaik’s symbolic paintings of the universal God are infused with love and piety

The Goddess Saraswati is depicted as her veena formed by a galaxy of fiery red stars. Her book of knowledge lies open in the space, the cosmos.

Another galaxy becomes Hanuman’s mace. His tail, comprised of flames is seen setting Lanka ablaze. The galaxy becomes the Devi’s gupha, with her tiger and the trishul.

Krishna’s surdarshan chakra is aflame, in the cosmos with its planets. Arjuna’s arm holds the arrows and the bow, next to the chariot wheel.

“I am trying to depict the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita in this painting,” says 76-year old artist Vinod Banaik, who works are on display at Gallery-g and Taj West End.

“I worked with horticulture, embroidering saris and designing bath linen before I took up art. I’m self taught artist and I struggled for a while to find my voice. Then suddenly, I came across an article on galaxies in the National Geographic and instantly, I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to connect my deities with the symbols of the galaxies,” recalls Vinod. The exhibition is a tribute to her late husband, whom she says always encouraged her passion for art.

Her paintings are partly abstract, using symbolic forms and colours to represent the deities and their significance. And they are infused with devotion. In one such painting, she paints a Shiv ling, adorning the idol with an offering of water. More typically, she paints Krishna’s peacock feather, its aura radiating in the cosmos filled with stars. Ethereal (as she describes it) forms of cows gaze lovingly into the space at the radiance.

“I don’t believe in rituals or in going on pilgrimages. I worship God in my every action. I believe he is here within me, I don’t have to search for him anywhere. And my paintings are straight from the heart, they are a happening.”

Vinod believes that it is God who guides her through her paintings. “This is all his doing. If you trust him fully with your life, he is always there.”

Vinod’s works with be on view at Gallery-g, Taj West End Corridor, until August 17. For details, contact 22219275.

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