WAR, peace, and nature’s beauty are recurring themes in painter and printmaker Subhash Shorey’s work, as he draws attention to the futility of war. According to the Chandigarh-based artist, it only damages and destroys human sensitivity towards the beauty that life offers us. In his latest series, Shorey revisits his childhood memories of Kashmir, the images, the conversations with his teachers and friends, and now how it has all been replaced with violence. It’s a project Shorey penned in 2000 in Hindi and has how showcased it in Chandigarh.
Mysterious Beauty of Stones — Past, Present Future Weapons of War, acrylic colour on stones, is a work that Shorey describes as a combined experience of his childhood memories, his love for stones, clouds, mountains, trees, sea and tragic incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir. “I collected almost five quintals of stones from my surroundings and painted these with acrylic colours. I was not interested in adding any violent form to express my thoughts and feelings. I tried to make this work replete with colours, for life is a mélange of colours,” says the artist, who hopes to hold an exhibition in Kashmir someday .
In 1989, Shorey beautified a shikara in the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh and says it was an overwhelming experience to decorate it with flowers and colours. Whatever the cloud of terrorism, Tricolour still unfurls, a work done as part of a workshop on the Kargil war, to contribute to the Army fund, made Shorey decide to work on the violence in Kashmir, which filled his mind and soul with sadness. “In the work, I have described the crisis that came to our country as dark clouds hovering over the mountains on the canvas. I also questioned how long will there be war and violence, a curse for humanity. Do we humans have no duty towards humanity? Can we not understand the language of love and non-violence? War is not an option; war will show only the path of destruction of life and natural beauty.” RDX, Enough for Terrorism (relief print and acrylic on paper) is another work based on the recent Pulwama attack. “It is a technique which I used in college. After the attack, we talked of revenge, celebrating the strong action against Pakistan. What this created was only an ambience of war, mistrust and hatred,” he says.
Kashmir Ek Khoobsurat Tasveer Jis Mein Hinsa Ka Rang Bhar Diya Gaya (Kashmir is a beautiful picture in which the colour of violence has been filled, acrylic on paper) is a depiction of the death of a dream, the peace and beauty of Kashmir, known as heaven on earth, and now filled with colours of violence, separation and terrorism. “I can describe this new work as text art, for the title itself is a painting, which is written in blocks to express my thoughts. In exploring my inner self, a quest for love, peace and aesthetics is manifested,” says Shorey.