Pen to Brush

“Poetry is a solitary,melancholic,niche practice,while painting is rather glittering and luminous. When a poet becomes a painter I am always rather suspicious of him/her,” says Ashok Vajpeyi.

Written by Georgina Maddox | Published: January 9, 2011 2:30:41 am

Well-known poet Teji Grover turns to art

“Poetry is a solitary,melancholic,niche practice,while painting is rather glittering and luminous. When a poet becomes a painter I am always rather suspicious of him/her,” says Ashok Vajpeyi,at the opening of 55-year-old Grover’s exhibition at Gallery Arpana in Siri Fort. He follows it up with a quick,“But Teji Grover’s work gives one no reason to be suspicious,because it is rather interesting.” Grover’s exhibition was well-attended to say the least. The recipient of Raza award for poetry had mentor SH Raza in attendance to mark the occasion,where she turned her words into images.

While Grover works mainly on wasli paper (used for miniatures) with earth colours,her works have a primitive earthy charm about them. Her non-figurative paintings have movement and rhythm,as well as colour and harmony. The only factor working against the activist-poet is that she began painting late in her life.

“Painting is a rather celebratory way of saving myself from the pulverising time spent waiting for poetry,love and death,” says Grover,who is now settled in Hoshangabad,a small township on the banks of the Narmada in Gujarat. Much of her inspiration to paint,using earth colours,comes from living near the “dying river”. She cooks her own colours from jamun (blackberry) and anar chhika (pomegranate) in her kitchen,using gum to bind them. The process of boiling and grinding her materials is as important for the artist as applying the paint. Stare long into her work and you can get a hint of the energy that has gone into creating it.

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