February 01, 2012


Among the few artists who have consistently chosen to investigate the elusive and complex subject of "the metaphysical ", in his paintings, V. Ramesh presents his new body of works – Why Cross the Boundary….. – in oils on canvas, each sensuously atmospheric work akin to a contemplative experience. The exhibition is hosted by Gallery Threshold, New Delhi. The artist speaks about his works.

The journey of one's existence and work run parallel, feeding and acting on each other. I have, over the years, discarded many hard-held notions. The earlier solidity of the human figure as well as the tight compositions, have given way to a blurring of boundaries. These are in a continuous state of flux. Extensive reading of Advaitic philosophy during the last few years have, perhaps, opened up for me perceptions of the unity— the oneness of being  - and - existence—that exist under the surface of constant change.

The images of three poets/saints form the crux of the current body of work. Karaikalamma (5Th century A.D,Tamilnadu) Akka Mahadevi(12Th century A.D,Karnataka) and Lal Ded(14Th century A.D,Kashmir) were divided by centuries and geography yet their voices not only echo in each other's work but often in quiet similar tenor and  tone.

These three women poets were not only known for the intensity of their devotional feeling, but also for their loss of illusion and their insights of human existence. They refused to be reduced and while alive, they creatively resisted conforming to the conventions of the day. In remembering then we feel an insistence that a greater destiny is possible and necessary for our fulfillment.

 Most of my work is imbued with a deep personal reverence, and hints at areas of faith, devotion and transcendence, but it articulates these ideas in an oblique manner, using voices from medieval poetry and imagery culled from mythology.

 I often use allegory because it can allude to my concerns and what I want to express in a more poetic and potent manner. Allegory allows us multiple readings of the image depicted in the narrative.

 To be able to  draw the viewer within, through this state of flux, through the layers of paint, images and text to be able to transcend these outwardly seen and perceived phenomena. And, perhaps to be able to discern and perceptively intuit the truth imbued in the work. But to do this one has to adopt strategies and improvise modes of expression. I often borrow from narratives from traditional sources.

V. Ramesh, Keeping Faith, Oil on Canvas, 120''x96'', 2011