Far away windows moving further
Window – a simple enough object but something which holds immense significance for creative artist Rupanjali Barua. Known more for her prolific writings, art is the other passion of her life which she uses to hide her sorrows. She held a solo exhibition of her works in February, ‘Far Away Windows’ which comes as no surprise to those who are accustomed to her art. One of the most discernible aspects of her latest exhibition is that the windows now seem to have moved a bit further and the artist now seems to be looking in from the outside.
There are some people who nurture and hone their inherent creative skills to perfection while there are a few who are born with loads of talent and creativity. Rupanjali Barua belongs to the latter. A voracious reader, she started writing only from 1995 to escape from devastation and ruins that was threatening her very existence as a woman and more importantly, as a human being. “I started writing poetry and began using colours just because I needed something to keep sanity together”, says the artist at the sidelines of her exhibition. “I am an entirely self-taught artist. Thankfully, the colours were with me and I started working at home. Colours have helped heal my pain”, adds Rupanjali.
The beginning was not very elaborate according to Rupanjali. She says, “In the beginning, I met Dilip Tamuly, a renowned artist. He saw my work and just said that he was not going to interfere with me or my art. I have been carrying on ever since”. She is different for working in a place like Assam where figurative narration overwhelmingly predominates; her treatment of abstract dimensions is worth mentioning.
For someone who’s entirely self-taught, her imaginative and poetic sensibilities ranges from working on the traditional oil on canvas and oil on paper with a specific technique of execution to ready made surfaces such as printed paper, paper wares, photographs, etc and plays upon them either with oil, acrylic or mixed media and by ways of juxtaposition and superimposition creates something new. And in this renewal process, windows act as the central motif. They can be called the mindscapes that completely compliment her windows which have been her chief thematic concern for the past decade.
Rupanjali likes to work with dark shades and she bases it on her state of mind when she started painting. “You can base it on my state of my mind when I first started though it has opened up a lot now. I have always looked for something profound in my life, be it writing, painting or just day-to-day affairs. Superficiality does not move me and I am always on the look-out for some kind of light”. And windows are her passages; they are the openings to a world that beckon her and intuitively draw her in. The light that she seeks at the end of each of her windows speaks of her urge to escape and transcend the walls of existential limitations where she often finds herself hemmed in.
Initially, the windows were closed but they have now opened up to become more sublimated. It suggests a departure but has it departed completely from her life? Rupanjali does not think so and says, “There is a feeling that the windows have moved away. But that search for something illusive is still there”. Though she still continues to grapple with the windows, they have sublimated into quieter spaces. So, has she found her door?
Rupanjali elaborates, “That these windows have moved far away from me, I cannot say; but there is truly a difference in the way I look at them today, a little more wistfully perhaps. The in-between years have changed them since my first association with them. These windows are far away; as it were, they have a mystic notion of their own, something indistinct and yet beautiful. I am no longer inside those casements where I had earlier grappled with certain aberrations; today, I am able to look at them from the outside marvelling at how the various perspectives of the windows had come to rescue me from falling into a lonesome abyss. Life is transient still, like the light I see on the other side of each window”.
The artist has been working very privately; something which she attributes to her not being very visible. “I do not have a goal while painting. There are some artists who have a fixed number of paintings in mind while working. I can’t and I don’t. For me, it’s just the mood. Writing is easier; easier in the sense that the pen and paper is always there but you cannot say the same thing about art”, says Rupanjali. She adds, “It is again, a very transient thing. It’s there now and disappears after some time again”.
Rupanjali is an active member of the North East Writers Forum and participates in almost all kind of creative activities of the state and the north eastern region. She has served as the general secretary of the North East Writers Forum (NEWF) for one term earlier. She has now launched her own publishing house, ‘Wordsmith Publishers’ with the aim of re-kindling the creative spirit inherent in the people of the region.
One of the major activities of ‘Wordsmith’ is to bring out the quarterly literary journal, Sabd. Though meant to be region-specific, the journal has encompassed the literary fraternity of the entire country. Book reviews and Art reviews are two exclusive genres of Sabd and the autumn issue includes renowned playwright Ratan Thiyam’s play script of ‘Nine Hills, One Valley’. Sabd encourages young people to unleash their creativity and also includes extensive coverage of art, literary and other cultural events and activities.
Posted on January 16, 2010, in Concerts/ Reviews, Personalities/ Interviews and tagged Aiyushman Dutta, art, far away windows, guwahati, north east writers forum, rupanjali baruah. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.