New Delhi: People's fascination for ghazals is not new. They have been enjoying this genre of music for long. When it comes to ghazals of Ghalib, there is a big following. Now, a well-known painter is fusing her arts with the world of ghazals. She is depicting Ghalib's ghazals through her paintings.
We are talking about a painter Jyotika Sehgal. She makes an interesting relationship between pen and paint. She started building this relationship when she was doing her doctoral thesis on the visual translation of the poetic text of Ghalib’s ghazals.
The unbeatable poet of the 19th century, Mirza Gahilb’s poems have their own iconic intensity and his couplets have a special fan base. Sehgal plays creatively with the ghazals. She paints a picture depicting the emotions of the ghazals. She chose to work on the poetic texts of Mirza Ghalib and selected his ghazals with four couplets each.
Take a look at some of the descriptions that she has given to famous ghazals:
breathtaking are you
while shunned I am for you
my heart will throb but with a glimpse of you
nature it is that I see in all-you.”
“as we are split now
a glance and not anything else at all
reminiscences just flow
embrace and fall.”
Sehgal said, “While elaborating these for paintings, I indulge in expressional fantasies according to my present mental space. For me, art, both as an act of creation and the outcome is a fantastic phenomenon. I see my painting capture not just one particular expression in time, but it perpetuates in its totality. It imbibes many precious moments of my life, both from the conscious and the subconscious state of mind. I surrender to become a part of the life of that painting.”
“While painting, I talk to myself in the language in which I am going to express, so it is the visual language. I communicate with sketching, drawing, adding colour nuances, and so on,” she added.
“The medium of Egg-Tempera is a painting technique known of the old Masters of the west and is a forerunner of the Oils. Once introduced to this medium in 1991, by a French artist Christian Puard, it became addictive to the medium. The painted surface achieved through this medium is impossible in any other. Painting in Egg-Tempera also sensitised my way of painting the Oils,” said Sehgal.
Sehgal also thanked curatorial advisor of her show Uma Nair for extending much needed support to promote her unique expression of arts.
She has also published a book on Ghalib's ghazals which has visual translations as well. It was published in Bulgaria. In 2019, she also translated the text of the 'Jap Ji Sahib' into English. It was an e-book.
In 1985, Sehgal took her degree in Bachelor of Fine Art, from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India and she did her Master of Fine Arts in 1987 from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat.
Sehgal has also been painting since 1990. During 1990-1996, she was a lecturer of paintings at the College of Arts, Chandigarh, and from 1996 onwards, she was with the College of Arts, New Delhi. Presently, she is an HOD, Department of Painting. She generally does figurative paintings of recognisable people. She also won a National Academy Award in painting in 2011 at Lalit Kala Akademi.
When we asked her about her most loved painting, Sehgal said, “There is a small piece where I have painted myself and my husband. At that time, we were not married but we were together. It is close to my heart.”
Sehgal shared, “I was very lucky in my initial phase. My teacher was very good and I was lucky to get great teachers. I took my work very seriously. In eleventh standard, I chose commerce and I had ambitions to become CA. But in a conversation with my mother, my teacher said that I was made to work in the field of Arts.”
“My teacher wanted me to go to Jamia because it had the best staff at that time like A. Ramachandran Nair, Jatin Das and Pramjit Singh. They were all there and we were the first batch of BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts),” she added. Talking about the people who influenced her arts, she said, “Rajeev Lochan, Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh were my mentors. M Vijayamohan was my Ph.D. supervisor in India.”