Western influence dominates canvas


Pragya Upadhya’s first solo exhibition of paintings began at Nepal Art Council gallery at Babar Mahal from August 10. The exposition has put together 21 paintings, many of them semi-abstract works on oil, acrylic, watercolour and charcol. A student of Studio Art (major) at Lake Forest College, Illinois, USA, Pragya has done most of the work in Nepal. However, western landscapes and lifestyles have evidently dominated the canvas. ‘Intense Life,’ ‘Warm Yellow Afternoon,’ ‘Bizarre Night’ as well ‘Still Life 1’ are obvious proof of the foregoing fact.

“Does dense red colour make painting bizarre?” asked litterateur Kamal Mani Dixit, pointing at the painting titled ‘Bizarre Night’ “The landscape is not a place of Nepal,” vice chancellor Dr Basudev Tripathi added. “No, I painted it as it occurred to my mind,” was precisely what the artist replied. Nonetheless, the paintings say it all.

Pragya began sketching in childhood. Now she takes painting as an expression of one’s mind.

“It is a way of expression of what you experience and the world you understand,” said she. Shankar Nath Rimal, architect and artist is from her family lineage from whom she learnt and was inspired with. As sculptor Thakur Prasad Mainali puts it in his inaugural speech,

“Although there is still room for perfection in her art, there are sure indications of the emergence of a talented artist.” Every work, be it chalk or charcoal, oil or acrylic is a flawless combination of colours. The plummeting national economy and instability implies that the field of art and culture is not getting due recognition here. However, Dr Tripathi informed about a fund for artists and the Academy’s programme of working with common people for the promotion of art.