Art

Inspired by spirituality

MYSTIC HUES Viswan Vinod’s paintings draw deeply from spiritual science  

A lonely tree on a mountainous path appears melancholic. Its pale lavender leaves and the icy grey hue of the mountain peaks amplify the sadness. But the painting is all about love, says Viswan Vinod, the artist. Love's multifarious ways - longing, desire, separation pangs, and every emotion only one who has loved would feel and understand, he says. He prefers to call the ‘love' in the painting three dimensional. The love that the path feels for the traveller, the love the lonely tree has for Nature and the love the viewer feels for the painting.

If you are preparing for your routine daily art fix at the Kerala Art Gallery, where Viswan's works have been exhibited, this one could turn out to be a bit more. Viswan would gently egg you on to explore the deeper layers of meaning each one of the works holds. The works at the exhibition, ‘Spiritual Nucleus', delves into the deeper recesses of spirituality.

The ‘spark' comes from his extensive reading of spiritual books, says Viswan. “Sometimes it takes me about three months to complete a work. Themes that I imbibe from my forays into the spiritual and the physical world are reflected in my paintings,” he says.

‘A Traveller in Dreams' shows a woman, blindfolded, rowing a boat. Her hair, painted in bright blue waves, trails behind her. “The work is an artistic interpretation of a scientific argument that matter does not exist,” he says.

While most of the paintings displayed celebrate varying shades of grey, ‘Expectations' is bright and summery. A girl stands with her back to the canvas, gazing at a rainbow. She is leaning towards a tree with bright pink blossoms. However, beneath the happy tones, lies a sense of impermanence. “Spring is short-lived. So are expectations,” Viswan says.

A huge fan of Osho, Viswan says he stumbled into spirituality. “I was studying fashion designing in Tirupur. It was my mentor who introduced me to the mysterious world of spirituality and then there was no looking back,” he says. Being of ‘inter-religious parentage' helped him to distance himself and observe religions objectively, Viswan says. “My father is an atheist and my mother did not impose any religion on me as a child,” he adds.

The works that remain close to his heart are the ‘Ambition of Christ' and ‘Buddha and Krishna'. In the ‘Ambition of Christ', Viswan tries to explore the possibility of Christ having desired his crucifixion. “In spiritual science, Christ could have been seeking the seventh and the ultimate stage of the ‘Sapta Chakra' by enduring and accepting excruciating pain,” he says.

Combining the Buddha and Krishna, Viswan creates a new individual in his painting titled the same. Somebody he calls “the most suitable being for this century”. The painting shows a serene Buddha playing a flute, seated in a conch. “It is a perfect harmony between materialism and spirituality,” Viswan says.

The exhibition, which has nine of his works, is Viswan's very first. It will be on till May 15.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 4:15:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/inspired-by-spirituality/article3405001.ece

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