The Mystic and Her Colours

Media Watch

Subhra Mazumdar reviews Pratiksha Apurv’s book, The Mystic and Her Colours. Published in ART&DEAL, India, in their December 2018 issue.


Book cover Pratiksha

For the art world, Pratiksha Apurv was always unique, and best described as a mystic who prayed through colours, to unravel the spiritual path without sinking into prayerful jargon. Somewhere down the line this meditative approach to art was coupled with the power of pen, when the artist began interpreting her artistic consciousness through words that speak from the heart, even as the brush dabs colours and creates forms that exude proficiency in artistic terms.

The volume titled ‘The Mystic and Her Colours’ is more than an eye catching coffee table volume to titillate the senses. It calls for gentle handling and reading with the same contemplation as one does for a book of prayers. Indeed as one turns the pages and runs the eye through the prose, alongside the artistic illustration, what strikes one is the fact that through this reading one is making a discovery of one’s own being, which in short is the litmus test for its content status.

Coming to the artworks in the volume, the first impression is that of a serene landscape due to the play of colours, not just in a muted palette, but because of the astute judgment of the configurations, creating a feeling of inner revelation through the chosen patterning. Even where iconic imagery such as the outline of a dancing dervish or the form of the Buddha seated in meditation, graces the side of the overall painting, there is still the overbearing presence of art, and intricate patterning, intruding the meditative setting. The intricate brushwork across the white space announces how the artist has used the paint as a medium, while her mind has kept uttering a prayerful commentary behind each dab of colour surfacing on the white space. Also, the darkened central portion of paintings draws the eye inwards, calming the mind yet rousing the senses to a spiritual realm where the art and the viewer are one, expressing all the nine rasas of the universe in the unique language of fine lines, pleasing forms and deep philosophy.

When it comes to the choice of the prose alongside, the subjects dealt with are as intimate as the ‘new dawn’ at sunrise and its effect. Elsewhere, it examines more philosophical themes such as ‘the splendour of compassion’. As one turns the pages of each chapter, there is a lurking fear that the contents might begin to jade with repetition of thoughts centred on spirituality, but one is in for a surprise. Without delving into dogma or ethics, the writer in the artist rejoices through an everydayness that is unique, personal and yet has the capacity of being shared with one and all. In fact, that is the true essence of the volume as the book makes one take it up many times and reread its contents to find newer meaning in every page.

Review by Subhra Mazumdar

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