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Theme for a dream

Paris-based artist Maya Burman’s dream-like watercolour artworks are on display in an exhibition, titled Rhapsody

The exuberance of life provides inspiration for Rhapsody, Paris-based artist Maya Burman’s latest exhibition of watercolour artworks. Burman is the daughter of Indian artist Sakti Burman and French artist Maite Delteil.

Paintings from the Picnic By The Lake series
(Above right and left) Paintings from the Picnic By The Lake series

Her artworks create a dream-like fairyland and feature floral, decorative patterns, along the lines of the French Art Nouveau tradition. Patterns float around the central characters evoking a sense of exuberance and hence, the title. Most of her characters are imaginary but Burman draws from her own experiences and personal mythology. Her paintings also have a great emphasis on detailing. She also applies her architectural knowledge (being a trained architect) to the artworks and this surfaces in the scenes set within arches, columns and porches.

Maya Burman
Maya Burman

While creating these paintings, Burman follows a step-by-step process wherein she starts by making a pencil sketch and then applies a layer of watercolours, and finishes the outlines and detail in black ink with a pen. The paintings are inspired by the cultures of India as well as France.

Speaking about the imagery that inspired Rhapsody, she shares, “Usually, I don’t have any fixed ideas before I begin a series. But when I look back, I see that it was inspired a lot by the lotus pond. Three years ago, I saw an unbelievable amount of lotus ponds during a trip to Sri Lanka. Back in my studio, I was dreaming about them and about including them in my works and here they are.”

Describing the process of painting as complex, she states that it involves absorbing what surrounds you, digesting it all, and eventually it will come out in the painting. “It’s a process that takes time. When you create you have to accept to take, spend and waste time. It's not a mechanical job.” She also confides of her special affection for bright colours.

Interestingly, Burman never learned how to paint. “The way that led me to my work today wasn’t by copying other painters or masters. My training was made by showing my work to my parents who are painters and by looking at their works and through critical discussion,” she concludes.

Till: July 20, 11 am to 7 pm
At: Art Musings, 1 Admiralty Building, Colaba Cross Lane, Colaba.
Call: 22163339

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