Walking into the Lalit Kala Akademi, we come across a single piece of a medium sized pen and ink figurative sketch right outside the entrance of gallery 2. It looks almost photographic, as though someone has digitally manipulated it. Intrigued, we walk into the designated space and are utterly enchanted by a series of monochromatic artworks.
Interestingly, the pen and ink works on nature are not on paper but on canvas. The detailing is intricate and miniscule to the point of becoming dizzyingly complex when viewed closely. But there is a serene unity in every artwork that we come across. The tonal variation with the dots and dashes is incredible. An elderly man stands beside the painting we are observing and quietly introduces himself to us. He is Prakash Ghadge, the artist whose works we are in awe of.
We ask Ghadge about the theme and message of the show. He tells us that he is trying to bring out the inner peace that humanity has lost because of quick advancing technology and is concerned about the insatiable greed that is fuelling all these reckless advancements. In short, the human mind is becoming unruly and ruthless. The only way he thinks that would restore balance is the tranquil touch of nature.
Fascinated, we ask him how he came to such a well-defined theme, and how did his motifs of the Buddhist monks and goats play into this philosophy that he is endorsing through his paintings. He tells us that he meditates and this is the root of all his inspiration and way of life. “I live in the moment.” He says, “What has to happen will happen.”
Admiring a painting that’s been sectioned into two parts, one with a beautiful sketch of a Buddha and the other half that shows a complex matrix of roots, we ask him how long it took for him to make the artwork. “Three months,” he promptly replies, “the tonal variations take most of my time. It is something that I have nurtured since my college days. I try to keep my style of art pristine and free of influence and I am moving on to more abstract art now.”
Indeed, Ghadge’s artworks are pristine works of peace that make you gaze at them with wonderment. It has the quality to make one calmly contemplate about life and awaken the dormant stillness that resides within us. His show, aptly titled Peace, is a pictorial representation of a waltz–a rhythm that will soothe your restless soul. Just a few days left, don’t miss it.