There is something serene about the artist Druvinka. It’s in her mannerisms, her tone of voice, her very air. That serenity is reflected in her recent works, manifesting in her seemingly complex and layered paintings.
Her abstract paintings have the propensity to put the viewer’s mind at ease. Her use of deep shades and the particular technique of painting she has mastered over the years makes her work compelling.
“Druvinka has successfully and uniquely adapted the ancient tempera technique used in Indian miniature painting to a contemporary format whilst working with acrylic washes, bamboo paper and canvas,” says Indian art critic Naguesh Sardessai. According to him, Druvinka creates unusual textures in a typical, meticulous fashion.
Those particular textures and shades aptly project the underlying concepts of her work. Her recent works include depictions of the Hindu god Ganesh, who symbolizes a new beginning, as well as snakes which indicate the perpetual cyclic nature of time.
Laying the canvas of rice paper pasted on cloth on the floor, Druvinka paints her moods and emotions into each layer.
Completing a painting can take up to weeks or months, and with the changing of her moods her paintings develop and deviate from the initial picture of her mind’s eye, giving rise to an art that is both spontaneous and passionate.
Governed by her moods, her paintings have a narrative component. A sudden change of mood can dictate a splash of bright colour on the canvas, and likewise her mood is the deciding factor on how Lord Ganesh and the snakes are depicted in her work.
In the words of art critic, Professor S.B Dissanayake, her paintings are ‘self-generative and self-propelled aesthetics’ and a ‘total gallery of experience for the viewers’.
Drunvinka, however, is insistent that viewers derive their own interpretation from her paintings. “Although I paint with instinct, heart and mood, I haven’t titled my paintings because I want people to draw their own meaning from them,” she explains.
A freelance artist, she now lives and works in Himachal Pradesh, India and says her influences come from her travels in West India and West Bengal, “Having seen the problems there, my eyes were opened to the small things in life, and you realise you are one of them.”
Druvinka has had 14 exhibitions to date and her work has been displayed in India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Her latest exhibition of 16 paintings, large and small, is currently on display at The Barefoot Gallery and will continue until March 22.