A Few years ago when artist Rakhee Roy watched An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary about former United States’ Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming, she was overwhelmed. The stark representation of the impending doom due to urbanisation, prompted her to create a series of paintings titled In Quest of Green.
Roy, who has showcased two editions of this series since 2010, is back with the third volume. She says, “Despite our hectic work schedules, we need to stop and think how our greed is ruining nature. Our environment is gradually withering away and it’s time the human civilisation is reminded of this. I intend to highlight this through my work .”
A woman against the backdrop of various scenes of nature is a leitmotif in each of the 37 new works of In Quest of Green-III. Roy elaborates, “Nature is kindest and fairest as 17th century English poet John Milton described in his eponymous work Paradise Lost. A woman is a symbol of innocence, fertility and possibility. Through my paintings I have tried to celebrate nature embodying the power of a woman.”
To depict the true power of women and nature, the young artist has used bright colours such as orange, yellow, purple and ocean blue and juxtaposed them with animals, birds and aquatic life.
Roy, who hails from Kolkata, started painting when she was in school. But as she hailed from a ‘conservative Brahmin family’, she was urged to finish her graduation before pursuing a degree in art. After attaining a degree in psychology from Vishakhapatnam, she returned to Kolkata and studied painting from Birla Institute and model sketching from Academy of Fine Arts. She says, “Huge portraits of oil paintings in our ancestral house of North Kolkata were my earliest influence. Swiss painter Paul Klee, who combines the supremacy of music with paintings, master draftsman Van Gogh, decorative artist Gustav Klimt and Jogen Chaudhury have inspired me deeply. Art, for me, is not limited to its visual form. It’s all about communicating what I deeply feel.”
When: August 27 to September 2
Where: Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli