Calligraphic strokes narrate stories of strength

Studio space

In the whirlpool of adversities, Aiyana Gunjan found strength. When in early 2000 she lost someone dear to her, rather than slipping into depression she reclaimed life by going back to her hobbies and finding an expression in them. After almost over a decade, she is gearing up for her first solo exhibition where abstract calligraphic strokes represent the stillness death brings in.

“That loss was like an earthquake in my life. It was through my paintings that I initiated a dialogue with myself. It opened up my life to a whole new space beyond our social conditioned box.  This show is a coming out of that phase,” Gunjan tells Metrolife.

“When you face death, all forms dissolve. This is why my work is mostly abstract, it is meditative in many ways,” she adds.

The Delhi-based artist has a successful career in advertising and has been taking out time to learn the craft. Since childhood, she had an inclination for water colours and has majorly used this medium to paint. Her solo show, “The Moving Finger”, comprising over 100 artworks, will be displayed at Visual Arts Gallery from October 23 to 27.

“This journey has been so private and intimate part of my life that I find it extremely paradoxical to display them in public,” she admits.

Nevertheless it was a cathartic sojourn for Gunjan who was taught by veteran artist Shobha Broota and calligraphy guru Anis Siddiqui to play with forms and movement. She used five fundamental calligraphic strokes to create a universal language. “Calligraphy is normally associated with text and language work.  But I always wondered when each stroke is so beautiful why it should get restricted to a language?”

This question led to the quest of finding a universal language and she started using five fundamental strokes of calligraphy to create abstract musings of meditative mind. She uses verses and lines from various religious scriptures in her paintings but uses the finesse and precision of calligraphy to give them a distinct flavour.

“I paint, not to decorate walls, but to break the walls within. My creative journey is an expression of the spiritual growth. I expressed in my paintings – the depth, the dimension, perspectives of life within,” she says.

In a painting titled Aspiration (2012 series), she has created bold strokes inspired by the Arabic thulus script, whereas in a 2011 “Day and Night” painting she has depicted the Buddhist concept of “Ichinen Sanzen” – meaning past, present, future in one single moment.

“In today’s time when we are connected to the world around the clock, there are indeed no time barriers. There is no concept of day and night,” she says, adding the orange depicts sunshine in our lives and the blue is the depth within.

Apart from these purely calligraphic works, Gunjan has also used her love for photography in some other canvases.

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