Shalaka draws inspiration from the Indian metaphysical concept of ‘Shunya’ which is based on the paradox of maximum potential contained with an irreducible minimum that is Emptiness. Thus her creations are but attractive, distinct visuals. Paintings also incorporate scientific theory of Quantum energy of Universe. Quantum energy is an Energy which burst to form into innumerable galaxies, constellations and other components of Universe.
‘Energy in Void’, completely mystifies us by imbibing the concept of the evolution of Universe, its progress and expansion and ultimately the dissolution in itself without disturbing the movement of harmonious whole of the elements of the Universe.
|Painting series by Shalaka Patil.|
The paintings have various forms on the single plain or textured surface of paper; the forms on paper seem to be evolving non-stop, having life and movement. As we keep mulling over them, they also seem to dissolve. But at the very moment the similar one seems to replace the prior one. This evolution and dissolution represents the cyclical concept of creation, preservation and destruction/dissolution. Every component of painting- form or colour is unique metaphoric representation of space merging into a related whole. Thus the physical appearance is a Visible Reality but Actuality of an entity is beyond physical or visible reality as put forward by Quantum theory for creation of Universe.
To speak about it in regards to her paintings, we find that the form and colour refer to Nothing other than itself, but still it has some value in totality that emerge in unison on the Nothingness (here paper canvas becomes a total void or quantum energy with its plain surface, on which painting is done). This art of the artists can be best described with the help of illustration by Lao Tzu. While explaining the importance of Nothingness or void he said, ‘‘We shape clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside which holds what we want”. So even though the paper dissolves its identity with emergence of colors and elements on it, still its emptiness plays a major role in shaping the externally visible objective reality.
|Painting series by Shalaka Patil.|
Thus, the plain spotless paper forms the base of her creation. It becomes the releasing point of energy to give meaning to various colors and forms on it. And if we associate this interplay with concept of ‘Shunya’, we find that existence of forms and colors get their meaning only due to empty space or Nothingness of paper which is nothing but only a plain textured surface. This surface itself has the potential energy to absorb the colors that are brushed on it. So it is ‘Something’ that appears on ‘Nothing’. Hence, that what is perceived, has negligible scope compared to the unperceived or the emptiness that actually becomes meaningful and important. Thus, there are limitations to what is perceived. When meditated upon this reality with no center or edge gives rise to infinite possibilities. We realize that forms and space are interchangeable according to perception.
We are interconnected to everything in Nature through the medium of this ‘empty’ space. Our soul and mind are the Emptiness filled with innumerable thoughts (physical elements) that are negative as well as positive. As we mature the thoughts are replaced by new, some are expanded others perish to give place to new ones. All in turn influencing the lifestyle that we follow based upon these elements. Thus evolution, expansion and dissolution become part of human activity, just like Universe. Mind and Soul become the providers of potential energies.
The approach of successive layering and removal of pigment permits the surface to achieve transparency, translucency and opacity. The forms are held together, within mutual associations of attraction and repulsion, of contraction and expansion, thus there is continuous flow of energy involving a person to contemplate like cosmological inflation. All the components of paintings be it paper, water-colors or ink, space consist of positive energy which rests upon one another to create a complete whole.
It is a blissful experience to view her paintings as it takes us on trail in Universe and also lets us probe into self and find the centre point from where we as individual rise and gain our identity or characteristic, that changes with time and maturity.
- by Pankaja JK