On the banks of the 'River of Faith'

On the banks of the 'River of Faith'

Varanasi: Priests perform Ganga aarti at Dashashmedh Ghat in Varanasi UP on Sunday, December 05, 2021. (Photo: Anupam Gautam/ IANS)

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) In a country steeped in myths, traditions and folklore, the Ganga, which occupies a foremost place among all sacred rivers, has many stories surrounding it which have fascinated students, historians and many alike. Centering around this backdrop of the mystic and tales the mighty river holds, artist Jayasri Burman chose her magnum opus, 'River of Faith', which is curated by Ina Puri and is on at the Bikaner House in the national capital till December 19. It will then shift to the Gallery Art Exposure till March 1, 2022. Having been strongly influenced by Indian spiritual beliefs and sacred texts, Jayasri as an artist expresses her creativity with a certain poetic lyricism that is part fairytale and part organic. The Ganga has had an indelible impact on her and she has painted the river through myriad forms in all its unique glory with a charming fable around each. Her vibrant imagery of metaphors and elements like swan, flowers, vines and fish stand as symbols and allegories of her own personal interpretations. The recent devastation and destruction of the holy waters of the holy river as an aftermath of the pandemic greatly stirred her. It was a driving force that evoked strong emotions that later culminated in 'Rivers of Faith'. "If I could paint sound, I would try and capture the mystical notes of the Ganga. But how does one express the many facets of the mighty river - its tranquillity, wilderness, movement and immortality? Ganga is how I attempt to compose the balance between its fluidity and the rootedness of faith it evokes. Over 2020 and 2021's pandemic gloom, I have witnessed the abuse faced by Ganga on multiple occasions. Through my work, I wish to spread the message that it's a circle we all inhabit, and only if we nurture nature and not make her suffer, will humanity be able to live harmoniously," says Burman. "As an artist and humanist moved by the extreme desecration and pollution of the sacred waters of Ganges, she has presented a vibrant ensemble of creations in her show, 'River of Faith', that questions, arouses, sensitises and soothes, calling the audience's attention to the river as a life force that instils strength, hope and spirit of preservation, albeit the upheavals that frequent it. "As the world awaits to rediscover normalcy and happiness leaving behind the sadness and shadows of the last two years, the 'River of Faith' would be a beautiful tribute to the river and serve to gently remind us about restoring balance and tranquillity in our lives and repose our faith in nature and its powers," says Somak Mitra, Director, Art Exposure.

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