Informed reappraisal of Gandhi vis-à-vis Sri Aurobindo - Katju controversy provides an wonderful opportunity for informed reappraisal of Gandhi vis-à-vis Sri Aurobindo and his prophecies. @mkatju Admiring persons ...1 week ago
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Looking forward to your encouragement and appreciation.
Lipsa P. Mohanty S.K. Mohanty
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Lipsa P. Mohanty S.K. Mohanty
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Savitri Era Learning Forum
The rest includes a. River-Ant b. Zen-Poet c.Grace-Eagle d. Snow-Cow
e. Time-Hen f. Wild-Horse g. Sky-Rat. and can be checked here: http://www.artvantage-uk.blogspot.com/
Sunday, May 16, 2010
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Sunday, December 20, 2009
The significance of Indian art
The National Value of Art
The dramatic art of Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo, his mind and art
Paintings and Drawings The Mother
About Savitri,: With some paintings
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sri Aurobindo thought Ravi Varma’s use of realistic style was like using the cast off clothes of the west
I remember being very angry with Sri Aurobondo for ridiculing Raja Ravi Varma who was my hero because he, Ravi Varma, was a mallu. Mr. Aurobindo thought Ravi Varma’s use of realistic style was like using the cast off clothes of the west! The western artists had already graduated from the realistic to impressionistic.
I found umpteen numbers of explanations which smacked of ignorance and parochialism and the fire of youth to explain away Mr. Aurobindo’s take. He was a bong, I once argued heatedly with my friend during a seminar, when Mr. Aurobindo’s article came up for discussion. Bongs think that only what they have adopted from the west are worth it, I snapped. They behave as tho the rest of India has no right to appropriate anything of the west, I snarled. And they claim to be the seat of the renaissance in India during India’s miserable colonial days - the ones who lit the lamp of creativity in the Indian soul darkened and skewed by centuries of colonial subjugation. I’d have none of it, no matter what Mr. Aurobindo said.
I argued that Bengal’s creativity smacked of slavishness and slavery, for Calcutta was the seat of the Company and the Empire for long years. I remember the lecturer intervening at that point and asking both of us (my rival, by the way, was not a bong but a tambram who was just trying to needle the usually silent-as-death mallu that was me) to shut up as neither of us knew anything of what we were talking - one more uninformed than the other, she fumed !
Needless to say, I later felt ashamed of my unusually vocal performance, but I justified myself to myself on the grounds that this mallu needling had gone too far this time! Posted by kochuthresiamma p .j at 3:47 PM Labels: My Take, Nostalgia, Personal
Friday, October 09, 2009
What were the main features or tendencies of modernism in Indian art during pre-independent period?
By the modernism, I mean the particular discourse of the avant-garde that arose in the West and then spread globally (in literature, for instance, Eliot, Proust or Joyce; in music, the dissonance of Schoenberg, Stravinsky or Bartok; in art, cubism, surrealism or expressionism), representing rebellion against classical taste. Its nature and inflections changed radically outside the West.
In India, even though Gaganendranath used the syntax of cubism to construct his fairy-tale world, far more significant was the primitivist tendency. It was a form of critical modernity that challenged capitalist urban modernity which lay at the base of colonial empires.
What was avant-garde in the works of India’s artists during that time?
Gaganendranath’s poetic cubism brought a new era of modernism in India. However, from the naive art of Sunayani Devi to Amrita Sher-Gil’s melancholic images of peasants, Rabindranath Tagore’s animals, masks and other compositions, and Jamini Roy’s creation of a new collective art that repudiated the ‘aura’ of a work of art and artistic genius, as well as the art teaching of Nandalal that led to Benodebehari Mukherjee’s moving representations of common folk and Ram Kinkar’s heroic image of the Santhals — all these went against the historical and nationalist allegories of the previous gene-ration and were self-consciously avant-garde and radical.
Does contemporary Indian art have any real appeal in the mainstream artistic appreciation in the West?
Let us not forget that most of the enormously expensive paintings are bought by the NRIs. Even today apart from a few open-minded art critics and historians in the West most are indifferent to what goes on outside New York, Paris and London art markets. This situation can only change from constantly scrutinising the underlying assumptions of western modernism.
Please comment on M F Husain’s paintings which have generated fundamentalist reactions.
Husain is not anti-Hindu. On the contrary, he is one of the few who constantly engages with Hindu mythology with bold imagination and creativity. Hindu deities have been depicted in the nude and semi-nude since at least the 2nd century AD and similarly in the texts their physical descriptions are explicit. This is because in Hindu tradition, there is a constant intermingling of sacred and profane love and the erotic has never been denied.
Unfortunately, during the colonial period we imported Victorian prudery and now seem to be thriving on it. Finally, Husain’s depictions of Hindu goddesses are hardly erotic.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Sujata Chakrabarti DNA ednesday, September 30, 2009 23:59 IST Mumbai:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
Schedule of Programmes September 2009
1. 3rd September, 2009 (5.30pm) Illustrated talk by Prof. Adam Hardy on “Temples, Templates, Texts : making monuments in medieval India” K.D. Main Exhibition Hall, Ground Floor, 11, Mansingh Road
2. 4th to 13th September, 2009 Veena Navarathri & Viswa Veena Yagna (Shri V. Raghurama Ayyar) K.D. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai
3. 8th September, 2009 (6.00pm) Seminar in collaboration with Bharat Soka Gakkai on Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s 2009 Peace Proposal titled “Toward Humanitarian Competition : A New Current in History” J.S. Main exhibition hall & ground floor Kalakosa building
4. 8th September, 2009 (4.00pm) Lecture by Prof. P.S. Filliozat on “The Heart of the Temple according to Saiva Siddhanta” K.K. NMM Hall, 3rd floor, 11, Mansingh Road
5. 9th September, 2009 (4.00pm) Lecture by Prof. Vasundhara Filliozat on “Musicality and Dance in Kannada epigraphs of 12th & 13th centuries” K.K. NMM Hall, 3rd floor, 11, Mansingh Road
6. 10th September to 15th September, 2009 (10.00am to 8.00pm) Documentation of Bharai Ramakatha J.S. Stage, 3, Dr. R.P. Road
7. 15th September, 2009 Presentation-cum-interactive display on Tribal Art by Shri Lokesh Khetan K.D. Auditorium, Media Centre, No.3, Dr. R.P. Road
8. 24th September-20th October, 2009 11:00AM Exhibition on “Monasteries of Rinchen Zango” in collaboration with Shri Benoy K. Behl K.D. Exhibition Hall, Ground floor 11, Mansingh Road
9. 25th September, 2009 4.00pm Tattvabodha Lecture NMM NMM’s Hall, 3rd Floor, 11, Mansingh Road Schedule subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances: For details contact: 011 - 23388341 [ Home Search Contact Us Index ]
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Home > Lifestyle > Indian calligraphy makes a mark
Riddhi Doshi DNA Sunday, August 9, 2009 23:59 IST Calligraphist Dharmesh Jadeja who has been exploring his art for the last 20 years has been invited by the University of Sunderland to talk about his subject. Mumbai:
Dharmesh Jadeja, a calligraphist and architect who lives in Auroville is the first artist of his ilk to be invited to be a part of the residency at the University of Sunderland in the United Kingdom. The university's faculty of design, media and culture has an International Centre for Research in Calligraphy where which has been exploring the links between the different cultures and researching deeper insights in to the calligraphy traditions of different cultures. It is mainly run by two Your browser may not support display of this image. well-known calligraphers and researchers in Europe, Ewan Clayton and Manny Ling. [...]
Dharmesh concentrates on the letter forms, their combinations, formation, and structure and explores the ideas behind the forms of ancient Indian letters, in particular, the Devanagari script. He explains, "I have worked on the beauty of these forms for many years, exploring the relation of the phonetic traditions with the written traditions among other things."
Saturday, June 06, 2009
The photo exhibit on Indian classical dances begins with Shiva and Parvati in Ardhanarieswara in Odissi style, denoting that the manifest (Parvati) and the unmanifest (Shiva) are one and can not be separated. Next to it is Shiva in his supreme Ananda Tandava Murti, again in Odissi, Shiva as Nataraja is the cosmic dancer and is the source of all art forms including all dance, theater, music poetry, painting etc. A brief write-up about Nataraja inspires the viewer at the entrance of the exhibition hall. As soon as one enters inside the rasika is invited by an offering of pushpanjali (flower offering) by Sangeeta Dash to Shakti (Durga) without whom even Shiva can not manifest.
The artist tries to immerse the rasika into the RASA of life with a splendid presentation of Navarasa, the nine rasa with a brief description of each rasa. The spellbound expressions of Rasa have been truthfully bought out by none other than Sangeeta Dash, foremost Odissi dancer. The Odissi section continues with a rare presentation of Bhramari, again by Sangeeta Dash, frozen in eternity by the artist (usually seen and easily captured in Kathak but never yet presented in Odissi) Sangeeta Dash's dedication and personal care to details even for her students are beautifully captured in two photos she is seen doing makeup for a little girl. Sonal Mansingh is seen at the end of the Odissi section in classic sculpturesque posture. At the beginning of each section a very brief description of the style of Indian classical dance is well written for the lay person.
The next series on Bharatanatyam is complete in itself with Shiva in Ananda Tandava, a beautiful child artist in classic posture, Chitra Visweswaran as Sakhi of Radha trying to persuade her to go to Krishna for Rasakrida is also seen.
Radha forms and symbolizes 'Complete Surrender' to her lord, the lord of the universe 'Sri Krishna' which forms the essence of true love, is presented in three pictures of Manipuri Dance. Rani Kannam, the doyen of Kathak dance graces the exhibition by her total devotion to the Lord. Sobhana Narayanan is the leading contemporary Kathak dancer is seen as the "Abhimanaini". There are few more pictures of Kathak showing the essence of the art form both the science and the art of it as movements, Radha and Krishna, Ardhanarieswara etc.
Kuchipudi dance from Andhra Pradesh transports the viewer to different moods of love, happiness etc. The graceful dance of lord Vishnu as MOHINI has been most beautifully presented by none other than Shivaji Bharati in Mohiniattam. The last photo symbolizes that all Indian classical dances may appear to be different in costume; makeup style and presentation etc. but essentially are one, as the source is only The Divine. Three great artists Kiran Segal from Odissi, Shivaji Bharati from Mohiniattam and Shobana Narayanan from Kathak have come together in a classical dance posture at the end of the exhibit. All Indian dances are essentially spiritual in nature trying to represent the divine and its manifestations in its myriad forms. The artist has made a sincere attempt to present his own quest for Moksha in this exhibition. Home 4:36 PM
Friday, May 08, 2009
Auroville is one of the major active fulfillments of 1960s social idealism that was totally planetary-minded
Art Robert Lawlor with Christopher Bamford and Dorothea Rockburne Brooklyn Rail - New York, NY, USA
After an absence of many years, Robert Lawlor, who began as a sculptor, and whose book Sacred Geometry has had a great influence in reawakening us to the importance of geometrical principles, symmetries, and proportions—not only for art and architecture but also for science and consciousness studies—was recently back in New York for a few days. Dorothea Rockburne, the painter, who had come to know Robert through his work in geometry and had worked with it herself intensely, arranged a reception for him to meet a few old artist friends and others. One of these was Publisher Phong Bui. Dorothea and Phong thought Rail readers would be interested to hear what Robert had been up to. Because I have known Robert for many years, I was asked to come along and help facilitate the conversation. So, one Sunday, Phong picked us up in Manhattan and drove Dorothea, Robert, and I out to the Rail Headquarters to talk.
Chris Bamford: Robert, you’ve been away from America for many years, so we welcome you back. You began here, in New York, as an artist. Your life journey then took you out of that world into another, the world of ideas and spiritual exploration. You went to India. You fell in love with it, exploring it inwardly and outwardly. Finally, after many adventures, you found your way to Pondicherry, to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where, by a stroke of destiny, you discovered the work of Hermetic Egyptologist R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz. These works revealed to you the profound geometric and metaphysical knowledge—the temple wisdom—of Ancient Egypt. You returned to the U.S. where you and your (then) wife Deborah worked tirelessly to transmit that wisdom. You both even learned French from scratch, and translated many of Schwaller’s books, including his massive masterpiece, The Temple of Man. That done, you went to Australia. You explored the indigenous world and cosmology of the aborigines. You wrote Voices of the First Day. My first question is: how do you tie all these elements together?
Robert Lawlor: I was thinking about that this morning after we talked. It made me recall sitting in the south Indian desert in a grass hut as part of an international community that was one of the major active fulfillments of 1960s social idealism. It was called Auroville and the plan was to build an international city where people could divorce themselves from their national identity and become part of a group that was totally planetary-minded. It was led by two spiritual figures: Sri Aurobindo, who had passed away in 1950, and his counterpart, known as “the Mother.” It was a highly idealistic place. By that time I had been in India about six years, and someone said to me one day, “if you stay in India very much longer, India will either absorb you or destroy you” and I didn’t feel I was ready for either one of those options. I had by that time come to know someone who had been friends with Schwaller de Lubicz, and through this contact I became aware of his work. There were only fifty copies of his major work in the world at that time, but one copy was in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Library and I was able to get it out. At the same time I was getting to know a French disciple of Sri Aurobindo and she happened to have another of the only 49 remaining copies. She loaned me that copy and there I was sitting in this avant-garde futuristic community almost compelled to translate this book. Simply to enable me to read it, Deborah and I found ourselves often cycling seven miles a day to take French lessons so we could sit there that night by candlelight trying to translate this work. This enormous cross-fertilization of traditions (such as those of Egypt and India) gave some new shape and meaning to our lives. I realized: No, I cannot live by ideals alone, I have to involve myself in ideas.
Dorothea Rockburne: That’s quite a statement.
Lawlor: Yes, it was a big realization. Until then I hadn’t realized that I was by nature a highly idealistic person, someone who threw all his energy into an enclosure of mind that might be called an idealistic tunnel. But here I was, reading Schwaller’s work—it made me aware of the difference between ideas and ideals. Both of those words, by the way, are derivative from a goddess—Dia, a female deity.
Bamford: Ideals usually come from ideas, but all-too-often those trying to bring the ideals into practice have forgotten the ideas.
Lawlor: And that becomes a big problem in the world, because then you get the evolution of ideologies, which govern religious or socio-political groups. That’s one of the reasons why it’s really important to keep the two—ideals and ideas—in contact so you know what the underlying ideas really are.
Dorothea Rockburne, “Pascal, State of Grace” (1986-87). Oil and gold leaf on gessoed linen, 6´ × 5´. ©Dorothea Rockburne. Image courtesy of the artist and Greenburg Van Doren Gallery.
Bamford: Then there is the question of doing, acting. Previously, in New York, you had been making sculpture, which is about making. Then you pursued ideals, which led you to discover ideas. When you did so, was there still a need to connect ideas to work, to making?
Lawlor: Well, in India what I had found very appealing was making village architecture—how they just cut palm leaves and bamboo shoots with mud foundations to make buildings. I thought it was so beautiful and so remarkable that every man had to make his own home. There was a whole platform of indigenous values under that. So I started making buildings with palm leaves and bamboo. I would start living in one, and then more people would come from another part of the world, and I would build another one. I had to learn how to stabilize the earth, and stabilize the leaves because there were termites. The minute you got a building up you heard munching. The houses would cave in so that people were always re-building their buildings. I worked out a way of using bitumen to make earth adobe permanent. As far as I know it works, because I saw a photograph of a wall I had made. It was still intact twenty years after I built it. The whole thing was totally an experiment, I bought drums of bitumen, I had many village men working with me and they were all covered in black tar. To make the leaves permanent I worked out a way of dipping the leaves. I was really hungry for color, so I dipped leaves in paints of various colors—thinning them with kerosene and using local pigments. Some people thought it was really gross! But in the end, I covered the land with a number of these buildings. I learned how to soak the bamboo to make curved structures.
Bamford: That’s interesting because the Schwaller de Lubicz book you discovered was not only about Egypt and geometry, but also about architecture, and, in a sense, building these little dwellings has to do with space and architecture and structure.
Lawlor: But, unfortunately, I didn’t know about proportion.
Bamford: Proportion is inherent in the creation of space.
Rockburne: Robert, last night you spoke of how you came to write the book Sacred Geometry from an experience you had at the Pondicherry library. You mentioned André Vandenbroeck, who introduced you to Schwaller.
Lawlor: André came to know Schwaller toward the end of Schwaller’s life. Later he went to Pondicherry where I met him. He started teaching me sacred geometry. André wanted to write a book [Philosophical Geometry (Inner Traditions, 1987)] on that subject. I stayed in India for four years then left and came back to the States in 1972. I met up with André again and continued to study geometry with him. It really intrigued me. It was very basic stuff. So I left the ideals to begin chasing ideas.
Bamford: Interestingly enough André too had been a painter.
Lawlor: So had Schwaller.
Bamford: Schwaller had studied with Matisse, so this link between art and number and geometry is very tight. Schwaller was also an alchemist, which is the royal art—as much of an art as a science or spiritual path. This all harks back to ancient times when art, science, and religion were one—a single gesture.
Lawlor: The other person I discovered during that period in India was the distinguished Indologist, Alan Daniélou who was a linguist, like André, and an artist. He painted, he danced, he was a musician, and at one time he was completely involved in the Parisian art world. When he got to translating Indian work, ancient Indian ideas, he also got involved in numbers.
Bamford: In this unity—of science, art, and religion—number and geometry were fundamental. They were the initiatory technology, if you would. But many people still don’t understand what number and geometry are in this initiatory sense. So I have to ask: what in this sense is sacred geometry?
Lawlor: It is an examination of the inherent laws of time and space that are embedded in the symmetry of geometric forms. I should add that as the principles of time and space are embedded in the symmetry of form—so are the principles that underlie consciousness. That is a definition that I have synthesized from the work in general. That was one of the things that Danielou pointed out in his translations of the Puranas: Indian thought is dominated by a sacred trinity—the trinity of consciousness, space, and time—and these three are bonded so that you can never really consider one separately. That idea really stuck with me: that is, in the triangulation of number we observe a genesis. One (as Unity) becomes Two (as Duality), Three (as the principle of Trinity), Four (as Manifest Reality). The triangulation of number holds the passageway of the mysteries that are embedded in form, and which move our level of awareness, our consciousness of time and space.
Bamford: So time and space really have to do with the ontological principles present in consciousness and creation, because consciousness and creation are one.
Lawlor: They are the essentials of being.
Rockburne: But back to the subject of making, what interests me about your book, Robert, as compared to other books on sacred geometry, is that pragmatically it can be used as a possible inherent structure in painting. Since sacred geometry is no longer taught in art schools, I recommend that every artist read your easy and lucid, but profound, book. Using the golden mean, if properly understood, can present an open sesame to successful work. Other books I’ve read on the subject seem only to relate to nature and natural progressions. They don’t explain its use in painting. For me that represented a huge difference. Then, too, the specific quotes you gave, such as that of Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), stating that there should be no decoration, only proportion spoke to me in the language of mathematics, a language I was seeking. Some time later I came across a book titled The Plan of St. Gall, which, as I looked into the evolution of medieval monasteries, led me to realize that many of them, especially those designed by St. Bernard, were designed as a series of acoustically resonating rooms, based on sacred geometry. When the monks sang at one end of the Abbey their voices resonated from room to room throughout the whole Abbey. I was so fascinated and moved by their discoveries that I made a work called The Plan of St. Gall based on that study.
Lawlor: It must have been my previous interest in painting. When I discovered geometry, I discovered that all painting in almost every culture, right up until the 17th Century, was involved in a geometric grid that is called a “canevas”—a previous structuring of the space in proportional units before any painting began. All Renaissance painters did this, and that was a real revelation. I had been through the whole education of arts in America and no one ever even said the word “proportion,” nor gave any indication that there was a systematic method underlying the entire history of art. And then in the 17th and 18th Centuries, it was forcibly removed from the arts. Teaching proportion in art academies in France was prohibited at that time, so there was a strange, almost conspiratorial, attack on people who had that kind of knowledge in the visual field. I don’t know who, or what their motivations were, but it’s very interesting.
Bamford: If we go back only to the Middle Ages, to medieval music, for instance, everything was proportion. Proportion was the expression of living relationships and at the same time the harmony of these relationships.
Lawlor: Living in the sense that it connected everything that is a part of man to the creation of nature and to the metaphysical. Life was defined by the connection between those levels. Once we became a material culture of industrialization we lost that knowledge.
Bamford: That, and the reality that a living proportion becomes invisible when it’s alive—it is the spiritual. When you increasingly identify it with the fixed form, the proportion itself ceases to bring life into it. Art becomes dead when it uses proportion mechanically. Proportion is a living thing: a spiritual thing.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The hour glass moves at its pace, drifting through civilizations, dynasties, kingdoms and wars, leaving behind eternal symbols like temples, stupas, monasteries, forts and tombs. After Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic traditions came colonial influence and post independence, the legacies of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn prevailed. In the 70s, ethnicity was the call of the hour and the 80s was the era of post modernism. “The contemporary architecture of India is an interaction between a global culture and our rich past,” says Brinda Somaya.
In the last 15 years, Indian architecture has seen a huge change in terms of trends. It has taken great leaps ahead in terms of technology, material and design. Architects have branched out to various realms like Brinda Somaya who restored the St. Thomas Church in Mumbai, Pratima Joshi plans slums in cities and Anupama Kundoo works with low energy building technologies. They are not alone. The ratio of men and women architects has increased to 60 and 40 today. Though still few in number, women architects have tried to be different rather than be typecast as ladies who lunch and occassionally do home interiors.
“India produces quality women architects but very few trend setters,” says Abha Narain Lambha, architect. Iconic architects like Zaha Hadid and Gae Aulenti are hard to find. Being a demanding profession, many women opt out due to family pressure. But these architects have gone against the tide and created a niche for themselves. [...]
Her work is slotted as contemporary vernacular, many of her projects built with low energy technologies such as water harvesting and renewable energy sources. But this aspect of Anupama Kundoo’s work emerges more from an attraction to efficiency. “My designs are not driven by the worry that the world will end, but by finding ways to make the most with what one has,” says the 40-year-old, who has been practising for 17 years.
After graduating from Sir J.J College of Architecture, Mumbai, in 1989, she found the creative options, which were to become interior designers or to produce facades of buildings without working on the interiors, either frivolous or boring. She didn’t surrender to either and headed off to travel, landing in Auroville. Some of her projects include Creativity, an attempt at an urban eco-community in 2003 in Auroville and Keystone Foundation in the Nilgiris in 2005. She describes her work as natural, without any make-up. The other area of her expertise is housing, where she recently researched tropical high-rise housing for the urban area. After working in Berlin during the building boom she got a chance to teach at the Technical University, Berlin, and Darmstadt in Hesse, in 2005.
SEEN HERE AT FRENCHMAN PIERRE TRAN’S HOUSE, AUROVILLE
Concept Exploring alternatives to the regular RCC slab, out of environmental and socio-economic concerns.
Challenges There were design innovations that meant having to teach masons things I myself didn’t know, but was determined to learn along the way. Like learning how to prefabricate high quality ferro-cement panels that we had to produce on the site. These are used as vertical fins on the facades to block the direct sun while enabling cross ventilation.
Cost Rs 25 lakh for 450 sq.m