SARAT CHANDRA

Padmanabha's works had an appeal of their own.

Everything is grit to the artist's mill — from the grossest to the subtlest. But the subtlest is the real challenge for an artist, since to give an outward form to the intangible — an " objective correlative" as T.S. Eliot describes it — demands an aesthetic undertaking. Painter Padmanabha Mishra who held a three-day solo art exhibition from November 11 at the Jayadeva Bhaban in Bhubaneswar, attempted this in his work .The 18 paintings exhibited were divided into two sections: each based on poetic extracts from two well known literary figures, Bhima Bhoi and Srinivas Udgata. Bhima Bhoi is a 19th century saint poet . Bhima Bhoi has been the literary mouthpiece of the religious order Mahima Dharma that worshipped Brahma in the void. Painter Padmanabha has attempted to give visual representation to nine verses of his poems.Among them, the most impressive piece was based on a metaphorical poem that equates the haze covering the Sun to sins clouding consciousness. The sun light, metaphorically spiritual illumination, alone dispels the haze of sin. The visual on the theme is brilliant — the haze, sunlight and head of a person suggestive of human consciousness is impressively represented.Another painting is based on a couplet (kamana kalpana smruti sumarana..) may have various interpretations, including flux of life and yogic stillness. The painting makes an impact with the meditative face of a sage amid whirling forces. The painter took care to use multifarious colours in this painting.Padmanabha's nine other paintings were based on a single stanza of a poem by Srinivas Udgata. This section, titled `Light and Darkness', comprised various visuals, which together made a chiaroscuro. But an arresting one was a visual portraying number of massive tree trunks, each one having sizable branches. The trees were silhouetted against light at a distance.Padmanabha's works had an appeal of their own.