Art for peace and harmony

Published: Mar 20, 2009, 10:06 IST | Debarati Palit |

The medium may be different, but the message is the same. Debarati Palit tells you about two artists trying to spread love and peace through their works

The medium may be different, but the message is the same. Debarati Palit tells you about two artists trying to spread love and peace through their works

Ireland-based Jake Bullough is exhibiting 21 oil paintings and 18 charcoal drawings at the IndiaArt Gallery. It will be followed by the launch of a travelogue. An artist, cyclist and writer, Bullough has been working on his paintings and new book for the past 10 months. 

Jake Bullough with his paintings. PICS/ ANIL NAIK

Capturing an entire journey on canvas sounds interesting. Tell us about your work.
My work involves the people I met during my travel expeditions, from beggars on the street to people met at restaurants. Some of my art works are semi-abstracts and imaginative paintings, which came to my mind while cycling continuously for 10 hours.

Tell us about your journey to different lands.
I started my cycling expedition in January 2008 and for four months, I travelled across 13 countries. My journey started from Ireland to India crossing Wales, England, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and also visited the cities of Oxford, London, Vienna, Budapest, Alexandria, Istanbul, Ankara, Lahore and Delhi. The idea was to cycle through troubled regions and spread the message of peace, humanity and brotherhood.

What motivated you to do this expedition?
Some years ago, I read a piece by travel writer Dervla Murphy, who had taken a similar route way back in 1963. I wanted to trace the same route 45 years later, and observe the changes that have taken place. Secondly, I have been travelling for the last 10 years to experience new cultures and traditions. It's challenging and exciting at the same time.

Why did you decide to exhibit your work in India?
India is my second home, as my mother is from here. I have spent my childhood here and have had group exhibitions in the city. This will be my first solo

Can you share some of your experiences while travelling?
When I was crossing Iran, I spent the night with a shepherd in his hut. This boy had no idea about the world I belonged to, but we hit it off and spoke about many different things. Another incident I recollect is more disturbing. It happened in Austria when a man tried to rob me. In Pakistan as well, the condition was really bad because of the internal warfare. I had police protection, and hardly visited any place on my own. 
At: Indiaart Gallery, Patrakar Nagar Road, off Senapati Bapat Road, near Symbiosis College.
Till: March 30.
Call: 2566285

Swatantra Theatre, the only Hindi theatre group in the city will stage the play, Gagan Damama Bajyo based on the life of Bhagat Singh and other freedom fighters who lost their lives at a young age. The play is directed by Abhijeet Choudhary and highlights the fact that though the British rule had ended, another form of dictatorship
has begun.

What is Gagan Damama Bajyo about?
The play is based on Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and some of their friends. It is about their love life, dreams and tackles questions on whether their dreams are alive today. It speaks about various issues, including terrorism. We have all read about the struggle for Independence but few of us know how we achieved it. There are 22 characters and five songs in the play. Piyush Mishra had written the play in 1994 after doing extensive research on Bhagat Singh. He had also worked in the film, Legend of Bhagat Singh and penned a couple of songs for them. 

Gagan Damama Bajyo sounds like an interesting title. What does it mean?
Choudhary: It's a typical Punjabi phrase and we have used it as all the three freedom fighters were from Punjab. Gagan means sky, Damama is a sort of musical drum used to get the attention of people when the king wanted to convey his message, and Bajyo means play the music. I wanted to show that these freedom fighters caught the imagination of the country with their work (just like the musical drum).

At: Kalachaya Cultural Center, Patrakar Nagar, opp to Vikhe Patil School, off Senapati Bapat Road.
On: March 22, from 7.30 pm
Tickets priced: Rs 100
Available at: Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, Agarkar Road and Venue

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