Aditi Joglekar Hardikar, an alumnus of Mumbai’s Sir JJ School of Arts, believes that travelling to places has a profound impact on the mind and soul. She decided to give form to many of these memories of her travels — from witnessing the picturesque sunrises in the Himalayas and sunsets at the sea to enduring rigorous treks through jungles — using colours. Her exhibition “Vilaya”, which translates to fusion, is a coming together of her memories and emotions through art using an array of mediums.
Raised in Mumbai, Hardikar feels that she was fortunate to have lived in remote places that were devoid of traces of urbanisation. Hardikar says, “These places had a rural character and I was attracted by the bountiful nature that surrounded them.” Many works in the show have been made with the help of pencil colours, while other pieces are a rediscovery of coloured ink as a medium.
Hardikar recalls how the fountain pen was an integral part of her school days. She says, “I lost touch with it due to the convenience of ballpoint pens, which were introduced into the market. Four years ago, I chanced upon ink again and began experimenting with the fountain pen, dip pen and colourful inks. Earlier, there were only three colours in ink — blue, black and red. Now a variety of colours are available like pink, orange, green and brown. I enjoy this medium as it allows me to illustrate flow.”
Hardikar also explored the diffusive medium of melted crayons alongside ink, and began to see several videos on the internet where they were used to create craft pieces. “Once, while cleaning my daughter’s cupboard, I came across broken and spoilt pieces of crayons. That is when I saw my chance to express the rampant thoughts on canvas through them,” she says.
After collecting several useless pieces of crayons, Hardikar melted them on canvas by using a heat gun. “I had an image in my mind initially and would place the crayons on the canvas and melt them. It happens sometimes that the flow of the melt is not how I had pictured it. That is the challenging part. Also, one has to be careful when handling a heat gun. After several attempts, we get adjusted to the method,” she says. In many of her paintings made from melted crayon, Hardikar has added details with paint.
A post graduate in Marathi literature, Hardikar has authored the book Kala Ani Rashtra Vichar (Art and Nationalism), which was published in 2017 and critiques the thoughts of Sister Nivedita, a well-known disciple of Swami Vivekananda. Her long association with both literature and art has helped her create a strong link between words and colours. “I express myself in either of the two mediums — whichever suits best with the idea,” she says.
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