Saturday, February 23, 2008

Meditative play of light...searching for silence

Aura of Auroville Ruchika Talwar Expressindia: Saturday , February 23, 2008

A Franco-Swiss family and an Italian, who have left Europe to make Auroville their home, are in the Capital with paintings, which have an almost meditative play of light; gigantic installations embellished with mantras and the red sand of Aurobindo’s ashram; and haiku-like photographs with the aura of Auroville.
The Hymn of Silence, an enormous installation by Veronique Nicolet (above, in picture), a 51-year-old who has been an art teacher at Auroville for the past 11 years, consists of three sheets of glass, painted in blue and engraved with the mantra Om Namo Bhagawataya. But the photographs of the Italian Ireno Guerci, who is enamoured with “the visual paradise that India is”, are simple. “They are an invitation to contemplate the little ideas that we tend to ignore in the lust for big ones,” he says.
Then there is 55-year-old Michel Nicolet, with his installation Prakriti and Purusha, and 36-year-old Karine Applanat Nicolet, who is an interior decorator at the quaint township in Pondicherry. Her paintings probably have the softest colours one has ever seen on canvas, as though they are searching for silence.
The exhibition at the India International Centre comes with a probing title: “Why Art?” Rajan Ghosh, who has written a book on the relationship between art and Aurobindo, explains, “The title is interrogative, but the answer lies in the search within. Aurobindo believed that art doesn’t give what nature does; it gives much more.” The exhibition at the India International Centre Annexe is on till February 29

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