WALK WITH HER

Transforming a deadly disease into a fight for living is something ARPITA BHATTACHARYA knew about only too well. Fighting an aggressive tumour for 12 years, she translated all her inner pain and trauma onto paintings on her palate. And now, her works will be on display the GAGANENDRA PRADARSHASALA from MAY 11-5, between 3-8 pm. The exhibition has been termed, Walk with me, and is a form of salute to her in-domitable spirit. Arpita's tryst with colours started when she was only two years old. She won several art competitions, holding her first exhibition in 1999. Though she never had any professional training in art, she was taught how to hold a brush, mix colours and build the content of her canvas by her mother. " She felt the real challenge in life was to think and to question, and that was the goal she strove towards, even in the last year of her life, while spending a term at the London School of Economics," said a family source. She had the courage to defy a fate that her chosen an ultimely end for her, but her paintings speak of the strength to look death square in the eye. Through the complex interweaving of colours and imaginative use of discontinuities, her works reflect myriad moods, at times poignant, others exuberant and joyful. In her last few paintings, she broke her own tradition, and her usual colours of blue and green gave way to voilent red, yellow and orange colours, while the images of defiance are clearly understandable. As Arpita herself had explained, " Art is a form of meditation which allows me to be with myself, it helps me to connect my thoughts, understand them and it also acts as a catalyst for newer ones. In that sense it is fundamental to me ". She died last year, but lives on, through the paintings she created even as the disease tormented her body. " Colour, I believe, retains sanity in me and its nuances, through which I try to develop my thoughts, helps me explore the subtleties of the mind and recognise those around me," she had felt. Through the years, she had developed a unique style of painting, compounded of fluid lines and bold strokes, which underlined the sense of imaginativeness in all her works. The exhibition of course was arranged by her parents, who believe that the message Arpita wanted to portray to her paintings will touch the hearts and minds of all those who view them. Kolkata is the third destination for the exhibition, which originated in New Delhi, but they hope it will be take to other parts of India as well. - Kolkata Is Talking About....... -