October 19, 2013 2:35:44 am
A mural of Maharana Pratap on his horse Chetak has adorned panel number 46 on the walls of the outer circular corridor on the ground floor of Parliament House for almost five decades now. It was created by renowned Vadodara artist Ramesh Pandya.
Pandya,who had been on a hiatus for the past couple of years,returned to the world of art at the exhibition Mandi that concluded in Vadodara on October18.
For the distinguished artist,who has also been a lecturer at the M S Universitys Faculty of Fine Arts,the last two years have been nothing less than a trauma.
Pandya lost his only son,45-year-old Dhaivat,who was a textile engineer,to cancer shortly after he himself suffered a brain haemorrage in 2011,leaving him hard of hearing.
These days,83-year-old Pandya is spending a lot of time visualising artworks he will make for the second round of the exhibition that is to be held in Ahmedabad in December.
For the Vadodara exhibition,Pandya had created seven paintings on different phases of The Ramayana. The patrons at the event loved his work so much that he had to complete more paintings for the exhibition. He says,I still believe I am a teacher first and a painter second. But over the years,I took a back seat because I felt that the process of taking paintings to an exhibitions was too cumbersome. The sudden gush of energy that came through at the exhibition has certainly left me inspired.
Although Pandya,who has also created the murals for Ahmedabads Akshardham temple,reminiscences his days as a teacher-painter and the joys he experienced while creating several murals and paintings that stand tall till date in various places,he feels an artists life has always been a struggle. People think that today the life of upcoming artists is tough,but it has always been this way. When I started out,people said I would have to beg. There are some artists who sell their artwork for crores of rupees and others who have to struggle.
Pandya does not speak much about the pain that kept him away from active art-making for the past two years. The pain that is within me is immense. It is difficult to come out of it. I never brought it out through paintings either,as my own ill-health kept me down. My son was close to everyone – his parents,his sister,his wife and children. Losing him was like losing a part of me, he said.
Pandya,who has been an inspiration for many,says coaxing by his students to pick up the brush once again has certainly instilled a lot of ideas in him. For this exhibition that concluded in Vadodara,I took seven parts of Ramayan. I am going to start working on similar ideas for the upcoming exhibition too, he says.
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