Anand Kul Bhushan reviews Pratiksha Apurv’s just released book and says that it is a treasure for art aficionados and spiritual seekers.
Leafing through this coffee table book is an intense experience. And what’s more, a deeply spiritual one.
As you run your fingers over its gold-embossed title, you already feel the energy of the artist Pratiksha Apurv that pervades throughout the volume.
Before you see and read about the paintings, you are pleasantly surprised by the message penned by no less than the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who writes, “Over the years, her column in the ‘Speaking Tree’ has tried to take us inwards into our consciousness along the path of spiritual search. Guided by the eternal wisdom of her uncle Osho, she writes meditatively to help strike a balance between the outer and inner worlds. Her writings are simple yet profound, give us a peek into the divine and nudge us to awaken our state of being. I congratulate her for bringing out the timeless essence of art in her writing. I hope that this book, like her paintings, will delight the reader.”
It’s so beautiful that as soon as you handle this book, you get a feeling of peace and devotion. As you turn the pages and take in the serene paintings, you fall into meditation.
Leafing through the book, you embark on a spiritual safari. You gaze on the spiritual landscape in her paintings and you glide over her commentaries that explain her art. Effortlessly, she provides the background and describes each and every feature because every element has a deeper meaning in the overall imagery.
As Osho’s niece, spirituality is in her DNA. Growing up in this mystical family, she was initiated at age 11 and spent her youth in the vibrant Pune commune. She was with Osho until his return to India in 1985, when she moved to Delhi and worked as a fashion designer for 15 years.
Despite the outstanding success of her studio and label, she moved on to painting and her creativity just flowed into mystical art. Without any formal training as a fashion designer nor in fine art, she has been a stunning success in both these creative fields.
What is her secret? One, her introspective nature that focuses her totally on the work at hand so that every task becomes meditation. Second, her sense of colours and how to use them subtly to make a graceful impact.
This playful attitude to colours came into fore when the first dummy of the book was sent to her and she saw that the colours of the printed paintings were not corresponding to the originals. She was also not satisfied with the gold on the cover. So, she went to the printers and suggested how to mix the colours to get the correct shades; when the printers changed the mix, they were surprised and she was delighted. They asked, “How do you know so much about printing?” She replied, “I don’t know about printing but I know how to mix colours to get the right shades.”
Pratiksha took a keen interest in the book’s production starting with its design. Once she saw the first design, she suggested changes but was opposed. She then suggested some minor changes and then more, until it was re-designed. In the end, everyone agreed that it looked much, much better. She also selected the paper, Montblanc 160 gsm, and designed an artful bookmark with a quote by Osho, “Creativity is the fragrance of individual freedom.”
Painting after painting entices your imagination and provokes you to find the hidden meanings. It’s impossible to look at and read it from cover to cover. It has to be savoured over time so that its messages sink in.
A treasure for art aficionados and seekers.
The book was launched on September 5, 2018 in Mumbai, with well-known movie director Vishal Bharadwaj, and his wife, singer Rekha Bharadwaj present.
The Mystic and her Colours
Times Group Books, India
136 pages, size 29x29cm
59 full-size full-colour plates with commentaries in 33 chapters
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