Delightful echoes of a creative mind

It’s an ongoing record of her experiences about the world and its impressions embossed on her mind. Echoes, she says is her “way of looking at the past, the present and the future”. Add to this, the “several eternal patterns seen in human life, history, behaviour, relationships, character and characteristics”.

In between, allusions to Biblical connotations and theological interpretations also find ample space in her artwork. Talented young painter Procheta Mukherjee Olson is now showcasing her latest thought-provoking collection, titled Echoes, at Kolkata’s Jamini Roy Gallery.
Unveiling a collection of paintings, photographs and drawings, Echoes comes across as an aficionado’s aesthetic delight. It encapsulates a complete package. Brushed in oil colours on wooden panel, the paintings give vent to a different level of consciousness of the creator. Like a coat of primer applied to the walls before painting, a substance called Gesso is being offered over a canvas or across a thick wooden surface to soak in the shiny oil palette. Strikingly, a slew of historical figures, which were separated by generations and geography, are brought together in this narrative — joined by the echoing trajectories of their lives. Deriving inspiration from literature, philosophy, theology, history and culture, this eye-catching oeuvre offers a conversation with the nature of man and his movements through space and time.
The photographs on the other hand are exceedingly small in size, measuring only 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches. “Actually, my intent was to invoke a feeling of watching the world through a keyhole, a narrow gap or a tiny little window. However, given the gallery constraints, we couldn’t afford to exhibit an installation work where people would peep through an eyehole or a minute opening to view the existential reality in the surrounding environment,” she concedes. Having used a mount-board to simulate a little cutout window with two-and-half inch border encompassing it, Procheta hangs all the photos quite close to one another for the viewers’ convenience. Meanwhile, the drawings made with pen and ink on the paper clearly define an array of detailed illustrations, similar to etchings.
Technically trained in art from Birla Academy in Kolkata and School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Procheta admits that her formal background has invariably helped brace her basics right from the start. A painter, poet, filmmaker and an illustrator — all rolled into one, Procheta has emerged as a polymath in her own right. With 18 group shows in the US as well as in India, plus two solo expositions to her credit, Procheta’s CV promises to have a sparkling rocket in her pocket. In fact, her previous display titled Truth, Beheaded, included paintings, drawings and a video projection altogether. In 2012, she released her first book of poems called Born Again at the annual Kolkata Book Fair.
Veering the talks to her films, she reveals of her experimentation with short films instead of full-length features since 2007-08. Most of them have a span of only five-minutes each. “You know, my films are sometimes shot without a plot. Rather, it bears the reflection of a visual thought,” she muses. Titles like Revisited, Interlude and Everybody Wants The Monkey were screened through a video representation in her last outing as an artist.
Incidentally, Procheta is fond of the idea of converging different disciplines under one canopy.
When going down on a particular frame of thought, this evolving artist confirms that she dwells on it for sometime and then comes back again to her studio to start afresh. This sense of balance and poise, we presume, will take her a long way ahead. While she stresses that there are no immediate plans for the future, she, however, avows to chart out a course of investigation on the origin of languages and the evolution of our national identity through her art. “I’d like to seriously churn out a body of work of the kind that I’ve had already started contemplating upon since November-December last year,” she divulges.
“See, each medium compliments the other…so I am not really digressing from one path to another. Every single artform is like an expression for me and my internal emotions. They are my personal pursuits of interest,” she deduces. Let the passion remain kindled life-long.

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