She came to Ladakh from Russia seven years ago, and ever since, India has become Svetlana Bashlykova’s second home. For the last two years, however, Bashlykova has been living in Naggar in Manali, working with children of an orphanage run by the Nicholas Roerich Museum and creating and teaching art there.
“I believe if you have a creative base, you can dabble with anything in life and go with the flow. So when I teach children, it’s not to turn them into ace painters, but help them acquire love for creativity,” says Bashlykova, who is a designer, photographer and painter.
Inspired by the “energy of the mountains, Buddhist chants, their music, textiles and Indian miniature paintings”, the young artist has brought a series of her works to Chandigarh. The beauty of the mountains, her multiple journeys, which she undertook on a bike from Manali to Leh, and Indian mandalas created out of her impressions of the Himalayan ranges — her works depict it all. Bashlykova uses geometric patterns and intricate symbols, like that of a gate and eyes to convey an open mind while the sunset in the mountains fills the canvas with varied hues. With the movement of colour and strokes, the artist creates vibrations of music.
“Buddhist chants have an amazing resonance that I have strived to create that,” says Bashlykova, as she points at two designs that she has created for textiles and describes them as “fabric inspired”. A self-portrait in black and white, which depicts Bashlykova in silence and bliss, is eye-catching for the space and texture that the colour black creates. Many patterns form a turtle, while intricate lines and triangles create a smiley face adorned by a red bindi. “Despite my education in art and photography, my travels and this country have given a distinct identity to my work,” says Bashlykova, who has recently designed and opened a small art gallery in Naggar to promote local talent, culture and traditions. “I go with the flow, and don’t plan anything. I believe nature offers its energy and wisdom to us, as long as we keep our eyes and hearts open,” she says. That philosophy reflects in Bashlykova’s works as well.
The exhibition is on at Girl In The Café, Sector 17, till May 31
May 15, 2012