Would you like to watch twinkling gold stars on a dark sky of a summer night? Imagine, your home is at the end of mountain ranges, rain waters are flowing down from the tip of those mountains and a rush of one of its streams is entering your door steps in the rainy season, how do you enjoy the same? My reader friends must be thinking I am introducing a romantic story. Believe me we can watch that. Let Vinay Sharma open the doors of his studio. We will find some of his paintings are spreading those twinkling gold stars. Those are like his childhood memories of his home at the end of Aaravali ranges in Rajasthan. Such above nuances would keep peeping out in some way or the other in his painting compositions.
‘Nostalgia’ is one referential term that is indicative of memories of the past. I really wonder whether we can imply that term as a straight jacket for his work. The term ‘nostalgia’ carries a baggage of missing feeling, morbid touch and a marooned tone. I am afraid whether the expressions of Vinay reflect any such lost feeling. He does not look at his childhood just as his past alone. He collects certain experiences and meanings from that past. He respects that for the same. While talking to him I realized how certain activities of yesterday have become base for Vinay’s art expressions today and walk for tomorrow.
When I entered the studio of Vinay Sharma, I did not find the ambience in the usual way one finds in any painter’s studio. His studio invites us with a different atmosphere. It might look like previous times ‘Diwan’s’ office. Old documents are neatly placed on a sloping table where one can sit in front of it to write the accounts books. He collects writings of earlier generation, manuscript pages, etc. He uses all such materials in his present phase of compositions. If I say he is using such material as a background and a base paper for his compositions, it will be a too simplistic statement. He invests many thoughtful themes through those papers. Whatever may be the idea his compositions are visual treats for the viewer.
Many handmade papers are stacked at one corner of his studio. They are unusually thick compared to any other handmade paper. He prepares his paper base with paper pulp. He has an interesting way of relating this present technique with his childhood activity. He prepared his slate base that is called ‘Takti’ for his school work as a child. This was a daily routine for the school children of that time, in his village. His paper base is richer because he is keeping up with his childhood bubbling moods.
Rare end of the studio has a more picturesque invitation for the visitors. It looks as if he had spread a carpet on the floor out of his compositions, mounting base paper, some of the papers just made and others on the floor are for beginning the work. Script is made to play hide and seek with the viewer combined with in the pulp while making the paper itself. At another time he would even over write the script or write new script and figures which is in continuum with the old script of the documents. Overall all such exercises leave an interesting effect on the compositions.
His grandfather was an astrologer. When he was very young he observed his grandfather working on horoscope charts. Children were given a work and Vinay enjoyed coloring many auspicious symbols and borders on those charts. Colors used for those paintings were natural colors made out of turmeric, extraction of flowers etc. Vinay must have enjoyed the visual forms of geometry in those charts of cosmos and planets. There is an abstract understanding related to those horoscope calculations on geometric forms and numerical charts. Many a times what is that aspect that our mind derives from the acts we do and experiences we gather, is at far off distances from explanation.
Scenic times Bygone History–
Some of his works series suggests that these compositions are the scenic beauty, probably landscape of that History period. Colors are spread on the lower and upper side of the paper in such a way they bring two conical shapes with enamel texture on both the ends. Probably it is to suggest the top layer as sky and the down layers for earth. Something is moving upward or downward as if every flow is reaching the centre of the composition. That is leaving an impact as if volcanoes are bursting, earth is forming, clouds are about to ooze out the rains. Something is indicating a fluid state on the whole. Few small flowering plants are suggestive and confirming the image of a landscape painting on the objective details of the composition. His landscape paintings do not have those typical landscape elements like-trees, lakes, water bodies, mountains, etc.
Vinay says he wants to stand in front of the earth of that moment when earth started forming or watch that moment when creation started taking place. If he does so he would find those specific elements that are flowing to meet each other to create a hard core real body of life on earth. It is that organic growth he is displaying in his landscape painting. It is an abstract movement as if it is moving to reach that unknown vanishing point. He is expressing that perennial, timeless, grandeur of nature’s growth that is ever alive in the flow of life and one generation to another.
His paintings are numerous. If we travel around his works, suddenly one composition would sparkle silver smile to greet the viewer, sometimes golden dots are hidden below a layer of transparent paper as a pair of beautiful eyes under the veil, a streak of paper would be flowing across the canvas as if a stream of water is falling down from the heights, some script would be seen as a broken sentence that is hesitating to speak out, some lines of scribes are transparent from a thin paper outer line as if it is a poem of an young girl speaking out only through her expressive eyes.