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Celebrating Nature

Eva Kircz's photographic exhibition, on at Amethyst till February 17, is a series of close-ups of Nature focussed on rhythm, movement and colours. A review.

A PAINTER who also works in the photographic medium, Eva Kircz is a regular visitor to India, sustaining a cultural love affair that began 15 years ago. Born in Holland and having made her home in Spain, she spends three months of the year in India, experiencing and satiating her appreciative appetite for Indian music and dance. Acknowledging her position as a spectator who does not profess to truly `know' Indian society, her level of understanding of the culture is different from that of the local.

While she has read a great deal about the traditions and ways of life and understands them at a certain level, the native person who has grown up within this ethos though being unable to understand the theoretical basis of his/her own ethnicity, is indeed the practitioner. "In India, people seem to be looking for meaning, but not actually seeing what surrounds them. Within the confines of a temple for instance, people seem to walk past a sculpture noticing whether or not it is the God of their worship, but not really admiring the grace and beauty of the sculpture itself." In their eyes, it is merely an icon with symbolic meaning, perceived devoid of the joy of elegant perfection. "If I want to say something specific, I could use words, but the listener or reader would need to understand the language. Communication through images however can unite different cultures, for it can be interaction without any prior background knowledge. Shapes are universal and rhythms, colours, juxtapositions, lines and compositions all communicate something."

She feels there is a lacuna in her understanding of Chennai for she does not know the language but loves the culture and Nature.

As for meaning in her works, her paintings do not tell a story for they have no beginning or end. They are non-representative and bereft of literal meaning, and expressive of her self sometimes incorporating ascending shapes reflecting her religiosity, mirroring the concept of the human to divine. Although usually working on large paintings or murals, her series of abstracts presently on show is of a small-scale, executed in India.

Her photographs are extreme close-ups of Nature focussed on rhythm, movement and colours.

She intensely looks at water, one of her favourite subjects, with devoted affection capturing shimmering reflections and rhythm. Light refracted by water fascinates her for "you can see it but cannot capture it, it flickers, and only the camera catches it, although many rolls of film later. A combination of water, pebbles and light can provide such mystery and joy, for everywhere there is perfection and beauty, if only we seek to look."

A little mountain stream can be transformed by light into a cascade of jewels, like shimmering diamonds. Her pictures capture the rocks at Gangotri which have been moulded by the Ganges, where the evocative skin of the stone is sculpted into organic forms like the works of Henry Moore, sometimes yielding, sometimes frozen, yet always creating tactile patterns.

A selection of Eva Kircz's paintings and photography are on display till February 17 at Amethyst, Sundar Mahal, Jeypore Colony, Gopalapuram.


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