Changing colours of foliage represent the cycle of life, says artist Jyoti Nagpal
“Nature means movement, fulfilment, warmth, mellowness, harmony, exuberance, a celebration of life, indeed the very Joie de vivre,” says artist Jyoti Nagpal, adding that she paints simple objects of nature and strives to portray the luminosity and stillness of the stopped moment.”
The artist of light, as Nagpal is known, is currently having a solo show of her oil paintings, The Good Earth, at Kamaladevi Complex, India International Centre in New Delhi.
The artist has showcased dense foliage in each of her works using the technique of “wet on wet”. “Foliage fascinates me; its changing colours in different seasons, symbolise the eternal cycle of life,” she remarks.
The Good Earth, she says it is an attempt to portray the beauty of Nature. “The lockdown period opened quite another aspect of Nature to me. It was a time for introspection while being cooped up inside homes, a time when one could hear the silence outside, when the skies became blue again instead of polluted grey, when mountain ranges became visible on the horizon, when deer and peacocks ventured out to reclaim their space, when new varieties of birds arrived in flocks, when colourful butterflies reappeared, when squirrels scampered up to you to pick food from your palm. It was a time for resurgence and renewal for Nature,” she says, adding that the awakening she experience during the lockdown period is what she has tried to portray in this series.
“Mother Nature exercises a lot of patience. She sends repeated warnings to humankind against misuse, abuse, and overuse of her resources before finally unleashing its fury. But, at the same time, Nature is benevolent and forgiving as well and responds instantly to positive efforts of humanity to rectify its mistakes,” says Nagpal, adding that the pandemic also brought to fore the fragile nature of our ecosystem.
Nagpal completed her postgraduate studies in Romance Languages majoring in France Literature, Culture and Civilization from Boston College, Massachusetts, USA and taught for over two decades before plunging headlong into art.
But then even while she was into teaching, she was passionate about arts, and continuously held shows across the country. She held her first solo exhibition, Fall Foliage, back in May 1993 at the All- India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Gallery in New Delhi. The exhibition, sponsored by the Vadehra Art Gallery, as inaugurated by the then Vice-President KR Narayanan.
“For me, a painting, like a poem, is the expression of an idea in a condensed form. It offers a different interpretation to different individuals and is a unique experience for the artist and the viewer alike,” says the artist, who seem inspired by the nineteenth and twentieth century impressionists.
The show is on till April 12