“I can’t wait to share my ‘Svara-Raga-Chitra, the singing portraits’,” mentioned H.N. Suresh, artist and director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru, early this 12 months, when he was giving ending touches to his fifth set of work within the ‘Cosmology’ sequence.
His earlier sequence have lined nakshatras, navagrahas, rasi mandalas, and ashtadikpalakas (guardians of the eight instructions). “I considered Svara-Raga-Chitra to popularise Indian classical music amongst younger individuals,” he says.
H.N. Suresh with considered one of his artwork works
These work are primarily based mostly on the Sri Tattva Nidhi treatise written by Mysore Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1794-1868), who was an artist. “However I additionally needed to undergo totally different historical texts to deal with the challenge,” says Suresh.
Every work within the 16 Svara-Raga-Chitra sequence (acrylic on canvas and multimedia) measures 8ft x 6ft and conveys the nuances of classical music by colors and strokes. They’re all displayed at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bengaluru and can be found for viewing on the digital platform as nicely. The audio information to the work will be accessed on-line through smartphones by scanning the QR codes.
Connecting two music types
Suresh has tried to actually draw the similarities and variations between Carnatic and Hindustani music. The colors, motifs and symbols on the canvases symbolise sure features of music. For example, in one of many work, Suresh reveals eight ragas from the Carnatic stream together with their Hindustani equivalents on both aspect of a tree. In one other, he reveals the seven classical notes, from shadja to nishada, whereas one other canvas equates the saptaswaras to the seven chakras of the physique. He additionally finds a join between the seven swaras and animal life: Sa (peacock), Re (cow), Ga (goat), Ma (heron), Pa (nightingale), Dha (horse), and Ni (elephant).
“Although my total work is predicated on Wadiyar’s Sri Tattva Nidhi, it has been made up to date by providing a scientific clarification to classical music ideas,” says Suresh.
“I’ve additionally defined the ragas with their scales, and the accompanying audio clip demonstrates the identical,” he says. For instance, the portray on the Carnatic raga Ramakali and Hindustani raag Ramkali depicts romance whereas the Carnatic Vasanta, and its counterpart Lalat of the Marva Thaat reveals the wonder and pleasure of spring.
An Acrylic portray of Goddess Mathangi by Suresh
The commentary, script and music are by eminent vocalist and scholar T.S. Sathyavathi and the songs have been rendered by Maruti Prasad and Omkarnath Hawaldar, supported by Ashwini Satish, Bharati Pratap and Shilpa Shashidhar. In addition to a documentary on the making of Svara-Raga-Chitra, there’s additionally a coffee-table e-book edited by Jyothi Raghuram and a CD through which the ideas have been defined by consultants.
Shree Chakra portray by Suresh
“The work are Suresh’s interpretations of the iconography of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III,” says Sathyavathi. “It was a rewarding expertise to have labored on the script and music of this pictorial digest.” Sathyavati remembers gazing intently at every portray for days collectively earlier than developing with appropriate music, a mixture of Hindustani and Carnatic, to clarify the concept behind every.
The challenge took three years to finish. “I plan to have the work exhibited in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram as quickly as we’re COVID free. I really feel the digital media too needs to be leveraged to popularise exploratory artworks in order that they aren’t confined to museums,” says Suresh. The 69-year-old artist has 2,000 work to his credit score. Over the previous decade, his works have been influenced by science, arithmetic, astronomy, astrology, and classical music.
The author is a Bangalore-based