These paintings are close to my heart since they speak to me, they speak about me and sometimes for me.
I remember my childhood since the age of five when I had started being more social, knew the difference between home and social circuits like school, garden and other premises where I would see lot of children of my age. At that tender age too I could find myself being distinct from other children. I was always very shy and introvert. The distinction due to deformity became clearer as I grew up. Whether knowingly or unknowingly I tried to compensate my longing and loneliness by painting. I sat for hours at one place and drew everything that stimulated me. By the time I was also attending my primary school.
As I studied in vernacular medium I became familiar with the Devnagri letters and to my own astonishment I started finding the human figures in that letters. Letter 'ha' in Devnagri seemed to be a womanly figure to me or for that matter letter 'la' (second) depicted a male turban or such kind for me. So as I studied letters, along with I studied drawing too.
|( Recent work by Bharti Tike)|
I have grown up in the suburbs of Mumbai. Then it was not so crowded and the place was a blend of modernism and nature. This greatly influenced my work, the wonderment and nature of Mumbai found place in my drawings.
The thought of choosing a career did strike me after completing my schooling. Till then I had never given it a serious thought. Painting was just a hobby and means to escape in this maze of world. But I had the zeal to learn new concepts, drawing and techniques. I was apprehensive about my future, till I got the information about existence of Art College in the heart of city- Sir. J.J.School of Art. I secured the admission and started my formal education in drawing in the year 1986-'87 and completed my M.F.A in the year 1993. As it always happens even my batch was full of students who were confused about academic studies and contemporary art. But thanks to my sense of grasping that I started working in various mediums such as oil on canvas, pastels, water color, and charcoal and so on. My work was then more concentrated on self- portrait. I expressed my every hidden feeling and emotions through these portraits. This self expression gained me accolades and awards. Though happy I was still not contended with my work as I felt that I had not found the right medium through which I could express myself more clearly.
After my graduation I ultimately found my medium and that was Black Pen. I did lot of work using the black pen. I felt the work in black pen, the character that was expressed in every figure was expressed very meticulously. So charcoal and pen became my mighty tools. Like when I drew the resting vendor having a nap in his huge basket in “Relaxing soul”,. I have subtle expression of tired being, the face is not highlighted but the surrounding and the posture suggests the state of being. Another drawing that is expressed in such a way is “Caressed innocence” where the innocence and dependence of a child is felt through the hands that hold him. The tender child is shown resting carefree in sturdy and confident hands. As I drew with charcoal and pen, I literally started feeling that the characters in my drawings spoke to me. The drawings became more expressive without highlighting on facial features. Overall figure started gaining importance. The black shade against white tones portrayed more truth and posed a challenge that color did not. Thus, pen and charcoal proved effective to my expressions and broadened the avenues of being perfect. This medium has truly taken me to greater level of intimacy and expressions.
Currently I am working on the new series which is the amalgamation of digital at with watercolor. It is a series in mix media. Though the series concentrates on portraits, I have introduced the effect of background on the facial expressions and gesture of each figure. The series is like a volume of book studying the human feelings and life experiences, their psyche that is influenced by the circumstances that they have lived throughout their life. There is pain, anger, longing, apprehension, mystery, tranquility, care and love. The series touches upon every human emotional aspect that one could think of. Like in
“Can Rule the world”, depicts the confidence of the women in her late 60s. Her little raised head shows her will to win and her surety to excel in whatever she challenges to the world. The painting is also ideal to showcase the power of woman. In that case the very poignant painting is that of Mother Teresa in “Mother of Depressed” where love and care for downtrodden is not just a fable associated with the work of Mother Teresa but she was the ultimate Messiah for the poor and downtrodden men, women and children who showered them with love, caresses them as own mother and sheltered in her own lap. The praying figures of nuns dressed like mother Teresa in “Conveying cries of unheard”, show nuns' heart felt prayer to Lord Jesus to eradicate poverty, hunger and sadness from the world and make the world a beautiful place to live in and conveying this pitiful request on behalf of helpless.
The highlights of these paintings are the fine lines drawn at one go to make them powerful and grasp all the inner feelings of the character. I prefer to complete my art work in one sitting as I feel the thoughts pour in my mind and I am able to put them on canvas or paper without cuts and breaks. So in a way I can say that I float through that emotional river which either has happy or sad stream at that particular moment of painting. I can sit for hours together and sometimes at stretch throughout the day or night. But once the image is complete I feel great satisfaction and I feel as if I have written something in my personal diary which I could gave never been able to express to anyone in words. These paintings are close to my heart since they speak to me, they speak about me and sometimes for me. My introvert nature truly gets a means to express my emotions and feelings.
Bharti Tike spoken with Pankaja J K - Freelancer art writer