ANGUISHED ARTIST - III
“I describe my approach to art as an individual, always diffused a constant response to other works of art - an upsurge of pran shakti or vital life energy. As this may mean I am plowing a lonely furrow in the present. I need to explain why I prefer to define my approach as being pranantarik or guided by an internal force.”
Mr. Parasher could not have described his art more appropriately. There was some internal force that made him go on and on despite so many changes in his life. Perhaps, a stable life gives one a different kind of approach to art and light but Mr. Parasher's life can hardly be described as stable as every phase or part of his life was completely different from the previous one. So, this might have made him explore life and art in a very different way. It is very difficult to adapt to so many changes in one’s life so in a way, it might have been an internal force that made his art so impact-full.
While in Bombay, Mr.Parasher met many artists and interacted with them. He was eventually selected by Le Corbusier, the famous Swiss-French architect, to create a mural for the new city of Chandigarh. The 1963 sculpture mural in steel at Government College for men, Sector 11, Chandigarh was the first work which Mr.Parasher produced. He has left a written record that shows how he struggled with various ideas for that project. The Sculptures which Mr. Parasher was making can be included in the category of modern art. His artworks were immersed in philosophical and spiritual thoughts. Though his work was moving towards modernism it had a spiritual approach to them. These works of art are very different from the works that he had done in the refugee camp and even later on. I, personally, feel that though he had moved on in life and tried hard not to think about the partition and its horrors, still, perhaps there was something of the Partition that was the driving force behind these works of art.
One such sculpture which he made in steel dominates the whole front of the building.
The composition consists of various geometrical patterns mostly triangles. The triangles are different in size and while some are in one color the others are stripped. The triangles seem to be interlinked with each other as the eyes move along. There is a lot of force behind these geometrical patterns seemingly as if the whole composition is moving. The shapes of the triangles themselves are very imposing. On one end there is a figure of goddess on a lion which looks beautiful. The figure is in silhouette but the lion’s face is front-facing and a little detailed. The figure has a weapon in hand. This small composition which is a part of a mural is made overlapping a triangle. Another figure is of a bull which is also composed against the triangle. This is an imposing figure. On the other end of the mural is the figure of a bird made in a very unusual way. Its wings are shown with curved lines and the head of the bird has a hollow pattern of a star. The beak is small and pointed. We can see geometrical patterns on its body and tail. The composition is very modern but these motives give a philosophical touch.
Another sculpture which Mr. Parasher created is a fine example of his work in the public domain. This is made on the outer wall of Nirman Bhavan in 1966. This sculpture is made in cement. The design elements of the visible surface project two feet outward. The window openings are triangular in shape but the edges have been softened. They, thus, look like a part of the composition, merging yet retaining their identity. The theme of the mural is cosmic energy. The circular patterns of the pebbled background carry forward the feeling of energy into every nook and corner of that wall. The entire composition with its symbols of sun and moon and the hidden energies of the cosmos appear to rise and flow. There are many small symbols and forms which are embedded in the background if we see minutely. The eyes of the visitor moves along the curves of these shapes and forms. They look like a part of the composition and without these the mural would seem incomplete. The whole composition is made in broken tile work. The tiles were, initially, imported from Iraq to India. Later these handmade ceramic tiles were created near Delhi and fired in a wooden kiln which created the variations in color. In the other elements of the design, the sun, the eyes of the lion are covered in a mosaic made of broken white china. From the main design of the composition there are thin lines like rays of sun on the entire wall. Mr. Parasher's public works were not executed by him alone. Once the design phase was
over, he did not work alone but with a crew of craftsmen as stone cutters and masons.
Another sculpture of Vishnu Digambar Paluskar created in 1980 is a 12- feet granite sculpture at the Gandharva Maha-vidyalaya in Delhi which is massive but gives a happy feeling. The face is joyous with laughter as a feature. A giant slab of granite was chosen from the stone yard of Mahabalipuram for this sculpture. We can see the artist with stone cutters around the huge slab of stone that was to become Vishnu Digamber. Every part of the sculpture has been carved with detail and reminds us of the Buddhist art. Vishnu Digamber is shown wearing a robe the folds of which fall very naturally. The features are very distinctive and the sculpture is very fascinating. Vishnu Digamber is shown holding a musical instrument and wearing a string around his neck. A very majestically carved figure with strong hands hold the Veena. The face with bold and thick features, thick mustache and lips with beard flowing down in front is a pleasure to see. The gentle sway of the cloth can be felt.
Mr. Parasher's public works were executed with a lot of thought and also with a tinge of modernism. A painting mural in the mathematics department of Panjab University, Chandigarh is a very fine example of this. Lot of geometrical patterns are included in the composition. On one side two figures can be seen, the face of one is in side profile and other is front facing. The features are thick but a little distorted. Eyes are a little protruded and broad nose and thick lips are the strong points. Both the figures seem to be in deep thought as we can see thoughtful expressions on the forehead. The figures are behind an image which looks like a two-dimensional figure of eight. The hands of the figures are huge and with thick fingers. The figure in white seems to be counting. Though the features are not very realistic but a lot of depth has been shown in the eyes. They give the impression of the figure in very deep thought. On the other side of the mural along with geometrical patterns, some formulas are also written.
Mr. Parasher's public works are entirely different from his personal works which were on a much smaller scale. His public works are very impressive and imposing. Each work of his art has his distinct signature.
SL Parasher prajnaparasher.com