In sync with the rhythm of nature


Swirling circles of colour dominate 43-year-old artist Murlidhar Rai’s canvases.

There seems to be no beginning and no end to these vibrant creations and one is irrevocably drawn to the vigorous stroke work in his oil on canvas paintings. Surprisingly, he doesn’t use brush to create that magic on canvas. Instead, he prefers a knife, a spatula even a toothbrush to colour his creations!

“I haven’t touched a paint brush in 15 years. I have a special liking for knife and spatula. I like creating my own tools and have even used the roller of the water filter as a tool. I also buy stuff from kabadis and from utensil shops, POP plates which I think I can use,” says Rai, whose work titled ‘Circles of Life’ are on display at Gallerie Ganesha.

Rai’s paintings are replete with bursts of colour as “nothing in life is in black and white” and there are innumerable shades of colour in everything we see round us. He says, “On a trip to Rajasthan, I realised that despite it being an arid land, all I could see was colour everywhere.” These images, and of those of his own personal experiences, have shaped Rai’s oeuvre as an artist.

“In my paintings I meticulously try to compose time and space in order to achieve my own expression of happiness, positivity and hope. These works have symbolic representations and abstractions. The circle denotes the never-ending cycle of time. It also represents the circular Earth. It is also the point of meditation in life, the Bindu, representing concentration and focus. The high contrast in the colours is an expression of energy and rhythm of nature and life,” Rai tells Metrolife.

The artist’s works exhibit the journey from the ghats of Benaras to the streets of Delhi in search of an equilibrium and balance within and without. 

“It is my story, cultivated with strength, force and vigour. I am creating my own sphere of pleasure and ecstasy illuminated with light and reflections. While these works have a sense of gravity and also a focus to the point of meditation on one hand, they are also in some ways mere scribblings on the canvas of my life, in my journey from the known to the unknown,” he says.

The exhibition is on view till October 28 at Gallerie Ganesha, Greater Kailash II, from 11 am to 7 pm.

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