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.


About Aiyushman Dutta

Who am I? Yet to find the answer. For the time being, u can call me a writer, maybe a journalist and a music entrepreneur or an errand boy! Whatever suits your fancy!

Posted on January 16, 2010, in Concerts/ Reviews, Personalities/ Interviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I’m so intrigued with your article, that I would love to learn more about artist Rupanjali Barua work…do you have any links that show a gallery of her work? kind regards, Terrill

  2. Thank you Aiyushman for the links and for asking about me.

    I’m a photographer, writer and artist living on the West Coast of Canada, Mayne Island, – with ferry travel to either Vancouver or Victoria (or one of the other southern gulf islands). I have just recently found “a window” in my life to focus specifically my creativity. My Creative Potager blog is new – a start http://creativepotager.wordpress.com

    Here is a link to a photo I took today that gives you a glimpse of island life when the rains recede http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch/art/4485695-1-sandstone-shore

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know your work and the area you write about.

    all the best


    • That’s a breathtaking photo, Terrill. Thank you so much for sending me the link. I will cherish this for a long time to come.

      Its really a pleasure meeting you here. I guess a window is all that we are looking for in life.. but once we find it, at times it gets difficult to control the inflow. nyway, i wish you the very best in life.

      i am basically a journalist based in a strife-torn region of India. along the border with China to be precise. write mainly on music, art and culture and trying to see if they can be used to bring peace in our midst. just started on my blog and will be posting some of the articles and reports I had filed in the past year… trying to catch up with technology!

      Look forward to more interactions with u in the future. And lest i forget, you are a terrific artist!

      take care

  3. Thank you Aiyshman. We had a power outage from high winds here on Monday. All is back to normal now. Would it be okay to place your blog on my blogroll? I had to do a bit of searching to find where you again. Thankful I had subscribed to your posts so I was able to search back and find an email link.

    all the best


    • thank you for your reply. am sorry for the delay in replying but i was on one of my field visits. some of the places where i go for collecting data for my projects are real remote. while the lack of cellular network is an issue, i too prefer being alone in the midst of nature. 🙂 i would be really happy if my blog finds a place in your list. at the same time, i also request your permission to include yours in mine.

      hope all is well. hope to communication more often.


  4. Perfect – and yes, permission granted. Here is my blog link for easy reference http://creativepotager.wordpress.com And I know what you mean about getting out and away “the midst of nature.”

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