Kedar Mishra
A cow having six heads and breast full of milk, but the calf is fed by the tail- what does it mean? The tree is swallowed by its fruit- how can it be? The deer is playing on the sea and a fish is swimming on the hill top – Is it possible? These are few lines from mystic Odia poets, which are highly popular yet hard to reach in a meaning. One cannot just avoid these lines by saying them absurd or surreal. Absurdity and surrealism came out of subconscious imagination. In India our saint poets brand these poems as Sarira Veda or the mystery of body. One has to deconstruct the meaning and discover the silence behind the lines. If we look these lines as metaphysical poems, we can go on searching meanings and beyond. Here Suresh Balabant Roy, a writer, painter and collector of arts and crafts set himself into a journey of this difficult terrain through his lines and colours. It is for the first time that an Odia painter devoted his whole exhibition for a particular Odia theme and tried to invent a Desi line and language in paintings.

Tattwa, a solo art exhibition was on display in the regional gallery of Lalit Kala Akademi, Bhubaneswar, where in 64 drawings and paintings based on the themes of Tantra, metaphysical poetry and Mantra were showcased from 17th November to 22nd November 2011.

Walking through the zigzag display line inside the gallery, a spectator will come across several questions. Yes, all good art evoke questions. Faces of Brahmani, one of the Yogini from the famous 64 Yogini temple of Hirapur can be a great zone of monologue. Why 12 faces? Do they differ really? Are the yoginis different from ordinary woman? Am I traveling in a wonderland? There will be only questions after questions in one’s mind. But no answer. Again good work never comes with answers. In the exhibitions there were a few Tantric Yantras with modern outlooks.

A ‘Sriyantra’ can symbolize labyrinthine human psychology. There was a conscious effort to bring modern science for a wedding with mystic reality. Another great line of attraction was the vehicle series. Yoginis riding a sparrow or a peacock. Here Mr. Suresh pasted few toy objects below the drawings. Good aesthetic and refreshing sense of installments, though in a smaller scale. He also encircled few faces with modern day’s ornaments. Face of a Devi encircled by a Mangalsutra – it makes a difference and somewhere deconstruct the dogmatic and text book art language.

It is noteworthy that Mr. Suresh is not a so called trained or skilled painter. A Government official by profession and a student of Mathematics. As an amateur painter he broke out many text book cliches. He came forward with an idea which is hardly taken by professional community. The exhibition ecstatically celebrated an idea contradicting Dr. Dinanath Pathy’s introduction in the brochures. While introducing the exhibition Dr. Pathy underlined a bigger issue in the contemporary debate on art; skill vs. idea. In this exhibition one can see how ideas overshadow skill and suggest potency to break the barriers.