Osho News was invited to a preview of the webshop for reproductions of Padma’s work, and to pose a few questions to the artist.
To see the beauty and variety of Padma’s work is a jaw-dropping experience. It’s an eclectic mix. Her art has been labelled: impressionist, Buddhist, spiritual, abstract, decorative, Asian, old school, new age… Some pieces look very modern, some more antique, some Japanese, Chinese or Tibetan in their nature. “I enjoy being without a category, undefined by the status quo… a creative enigma that pushes the limits of my creativity expression,” to quote Padma.
Click on Slideshow and enjoy looking at the images on the largest screen you have in your home, slowly moving from one to the next. Or go to Gallery and click on All Paintings – there are 83 of them! And the very best news is: at a mouse click you can finally purchase reproductions of these jewels – and hang them on your walls!
Of course a few questions came up in Punya’s mind – we are curious journalists after all – and put them to Padma.
Who came up with the idea for this online web shop / gallery?
At the end of 2018, Premendra contacted me because he was so intrigued by the painting ‘Contemplation – Osho and the Moon’, which is on the December sheet of my 2019 calendar, and asked if I had ever considered having fine art reproductions done of my work. (He is already producing those of Meera Hashimoto which I have seen.) That’s how it started.
From what period are the paintings shown in the gallery?
The collection shows work from 30 plus years, from the time I lived in Pune 2, from when I left India and went out into the world in 1997 – until now. It does not include the artwork I did before I came to Osho, yet we can still call it a ‘retrospective’.
Did you have slides of all your previous work? I understand most of the paintings have been sold all over the world.
There were cardboard boxes in the shed that had been moved unopened several times over the years. I started going through them (with my partner Ashika) and lo and behold we discovered that years back, 20 plus years, I had begun having my work photographed, either by us or by professional photographers. We even had some that were recorded in very high resolution, like 3″x5″ transparencies. We spent a lot of money for that, way back when we hardly had any – but it was important for us to record the work.
What was your experience finding all those treasures?
In going through all of those binders and boxes of transparencies, protected in plastic sleeves and whatnot, it felt a little bit like an archaeological discovery. We found some that had been long since forgotten. It was an extraordinarily emotional time with a tsunami of memories coming back, related to each and every piece.
How did you choose the artwork to show in the gallery?
After having the transparencies digitized by a place in Melbourne that does high quality reproduction work, I sent them to Premendra who could then choose which ones would be most suitable for reproduction. I originally intended to make a selection of 40 pieces, but we ended up with 83!
I noticed that you also added three paintings from the Osho Zen Tarot deck.
That’s the cherry on top of the cake! A few weeks ago I said to Premendra that I felt it was very important – as we are doing a retrospective of an individual artist’s work – that the four years that I made the paintings for the Osho Zen Tarot needed to be represented in this collection. So I wrote a letter requesting that, and it has been made possible for the three images to be included. But they are not for sale. It is very likely that down the track the entire collection will one day be reproduced. That, obviously, will be something done independently.
Incorporating them now creates the whole picture, a full circle – which is absolutely marvellous.
Will there be over time more paintings added to the collection?
Yes, from time to time we will bring forth four or five new pieces. If you want to be informed when that happens, you can subscribe; you will then be alerted when new work has been added. All you need to do is go to Contact > Subscribe and leave your email address.
If I wanted to choose a painting, I would not know where to start!
Easy, pay attention to the pieces that speak to your heart. Those will be the ones that will have meaning for you in years to come.
I noticed you added Haikus and quotes to each painting shown on the website. How that?
Because I am a fan of the art of Haiku. To me, Haikus come closest to my paintings. They are like glimpses into another world. You blink your eye and it’s changed. They are very very fragile, and very meaningful at the same time.
I had the great pleasure of attaching a variety of Haikus that I love to the different paintings. I have also taken quotations from others, from Picasso to Deng Ming-Dao, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thoreau, including even my own writing. Each painting has now its own little story that goes with it. I am hoping they will invite the viewer into the milieu, the essential scape in which the painting rests.
I wish visitors will take the time to read the quotes and then have another look at the artwork. This will help slow things down. So, adding the Haikus is a device to help relax the busy mind.
Premendra had to reconfigure the nearly completed site to accommodate the Haikus; he has been so patient with me and respectful. I have enjoyed working with him immensely.
Can you say something about the reproductions?
You can select from various sizes, some go up to almost one and a half metres. And you can choose between two print media: on the very beautiful cotton rag paper that is of substantial weight (308 gsm Hahnemühle archival paper to be precise). I like it also because it is not made by cutting down trees.
The other option is Aluminum Dibond. The artwork is printed on aluminum. This 7-color printing technology gives the print a reflection-free matt finish and the composite material Alu-Dibond combines high image quality with great stability of the print. It’s wonderful, because you don’t need to get the reproduction framed as it already comes with a substructure on the back that lets you hang it – and even creates a bit of a shadow line on the wall.
In this printing process the color quality takes on a slightly different character than on paper, a certain luminosity that is absolutely exquisite. Many of my works were originally painted on gold or silver leaf surfaces, often using iridescent colours and the reproductions onto Alu-Dibond replicate those luminous qualities perfectly.
Where are they printed?
They are printed on-demand in Germany, by a company Premendra has been working with for over 10 years. They will be shipped from there, so people in Europe will have a slight advantage with freight charges. For orders from Germany the dispatch will be free of charge.
Are you ever curious where your paintings travel to?
The one thing that I so missed in the years when galleries were selling my work was that I never had the chance to get to know the person who had selected a particular piece, what their life was, what they were about. Now having this website it will be possible.
I would be delighted if people contacted me and told me what they have chosen, what their feelings are, what they are seeing in a piece and why it moves them to want to integrate it into their home and their lives. I love the idea of envisioning something of mine sitting in a friend’s living room on the other side of the world, in their bedroom, on their kitchen wall or in their office.
Premendra and I are also happy to get feedback about the website as such and will gladly consider any requests. He says, “Just about anything is possible” – so don’t hesitate to ask.
Anything you would like to add here?
You probably remember hearing Osho speak to somebody who had asked a question in a darshan or had written in for one of his morning talks about therapists being assigned different kinds of groups: Why this one was leading primal and somebody else re-birthing?
He had said that each one was doing what they need to be working on themselves. They were the ones who needed it the most. After he had said to me, “Creativity is your meditation, it is your path,” I have looked into the mirror of my own being again and again and again; through the joys, and the frustrations, and the breakthroughs. And the aha moments would occur when painting, or tearing paper, or printing – with the back of my hand.
I’ve learned that we artists basically are just ‘doing’ themselves in a whole bunch of different ways. Portrait painters are painting themselves; even if they are painting a hundred different people they are still painting themselves. And I am the pond with the single lily pad, and I am the tree with the full moon behind, bending over with bursting blossoms. And I am that ruddy wintery field with dry grasses blowing and the full moon coming up on the horizon.
These are all aspects of one artist’s being, that is being shared in this exhibition. And the beloveds from the family of sannyasins, the family of meditation, will understand and see, and feel where this work is coming from. It is coming from the longing to return to the source that is discovered within oneself.
DevaPadmaPrints – devapadma-prints.com
Padma’s website – www.embraceart.com
Zen Tarot Cards (commentaries by Padma) – also available in foreign languages – www.amazon.com
Tao Oracle (with 320-page booklet written by Padma) – also available in foreign languages – www.amazon.com
Blossoms upon blossoms – an interview with Padma about her life as an artist, and in more detail, painting on Japanese screens covered in silver or gold leaf