Bhakti, etched on canvas

Divine images

Bhakti, etched on canvas

In prayer: Nimmi’s art.

Just as the title suggests, bhakti is the overriding emotion that has spurred her to create these beautiful images. Each painting is created from the repetition of either the name of the icon or a verse or stotras, etched on canvas almost thousands of times yet imbued with an artistic touch.

An unassuming self taught painter with more than 200 paintings and six solos behind her, she hesitates in calling herself a ‘painter’ and prefers to be known as an artist whose work is woven with faith, religious imagery and devotion.

This connection with divinity and her sense of worship imparts to her art form a refreshingly identifiable unique personal style. The pictorial content of her work spans different divinities of the Hindu pantheon and sacred symbols associated with other religions which are enriched with textures, patterns and colours. However, Lord Ganesha and Buddha remain her perennial favourite for “their peaceful nature and benevolent image”. In tightly conceived compositions, she strings verses, the meaning of which connects with the images depicted in the painting.

For instance, a prayer to Lord Venkateshwara forms the backdrop to the famed Tirupati idol, while Durga Kavacha, a collection of special shlokas from the Markandey Purana, is painstakingly written in miniature lettering to provide a rhythmic pattern and which ably sets off the image of Goddess Durga. The apparent contradictions presented by the austere monotony of the writing and the blissful bursts of colour representing the divinities are effortlessly threaded together by decorative devices. Developing this style of artwork is credit to her late husband who “inspired me to use colors and translate my religious doodles into a larger format.

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