I never could have thought my keyboard transforms so naturally into a grand piano every time I write. The prelude, the exposition, the recapitulation: it's my mind that creates; the fingers execute.

Statement

 

  • Writing, painting, carving, are all expressions of certain emotions that have gripped me, creating a furore inside, then frozen themselves in there somewhere, waiting for the right moment to jump out upon my sheets of paper, canvasses or stone. In all modes of creativity I believe very strongly in allowing the kernel of an idea to gestate and to carrying it around with me for as much time as it can sustain, so if there really is life in it, it will finally grow larger, more powerful than me and explode from within to birth itself. I consider myself the medium not the creator of art works or of ideas and I love the startling, often tumultuous journeys that a work takes me on. One can never fully anticipate the many byways and detours to the final destination when taking that first step. The only thing one can do is to learn, study and yes, practise-practise-practise, in order to be well equipped so when one finds oneself in any creative process, this preparation will see one through to the finishing line.
  • As a writer I’m drawn to lives, livelihoods, stories of lost civilisations, of legacies yet to be unearthed, of the arrival of newer worlds and the relationship between the old and new; to the extraordinary aspirations of individuals in the most perplexing of situations. I am moved by the image of the lone individual against a larger landscape or juxtaposed with other individuals. Writing for me is a medium through which I can reach out and touch the lives of others, feel with them, create new and perceptive worlds – for myself and for my readers. My aim is to bring out human emotions the same way a wound when touched with a fingertip brings out the pain living below the skin that protects it. I believe strongly that as a writer ‘one should not judge, one should understand’. And this is something I hope to achieve in all my writings.

 

  • Tonal variations of blues: the prussians, ultramarines, cerulean; the splash of cadmium yellow against sap green, conflicts between violets and vermillions, the luminescence of quinadricone gold in sunlight – all of this and much more impels me to paint and to capture the spirit hidden within a visual experience. I have learnt traditional methods of painting and though I practise regularly on my drawing and painting skills in the representational form, I am drawn to an expressionistic and quite often lyrically abstract approach of articulating with colour and form. Painting is like poetry or music for me and I love the emotive power of colour and of gestural hand movements in capturing the spirit or rhythm of a thing or moment. The startling effects and simplicity of watercolour on paper are satori experiences for me that I can sometimes best express in haiku, a poetry-form close to my heart. My works arise from elemental responses I feel toward organic shapes, forms, colours, light, or chromatic variations in landscape or objects, or to visceral responses I’ve had to certain experiences. I attempt to create a symbiotic relationship between my painting/sculpture and its viewer where I like to lay down the very simple and fundamental strokes (of a place, thing or emotion) and then let the viewer take it from there, to co-create and complete his or her own perceptual interpretation or primitive experience of the work.
  • Carving directly on stone or wood has made me sentient to the characteristic of the material itself. I love the process of discovering the inherent qualities of different types of stones and of wood: soapstone, limestone, marble, alabaster, a block of teak or magnolia, walnut and so many others – their resistance and compliance, the astounding beauty, the texture of each block that inspires newer ideas or images and challenges at the same time, creating that intimacy between the carver and the material.

 

 

Ancestry

The Baonis belong to the Baghela Rajput gharana of 39 generations of artists originating from the borders of Udaipur/Gujarat. In the year 1118 AD their forefathers migrated to and settled in the State of Rewa, MP, known for its patronage of the arts and culture. As suggested by the surname Baoni (Hindi) their ancestors were Rajas of 52 small territories and in addition to being remarkable warriors they were also artists, writers, musicians of exceptional talent, tracing their contribution in the fine arts back to Akbar’s court. Forerunners of the Baghelkhandi miniature painting-form (a unique genre of Rajput painting in its singular use of technique, colour and form), the Baonis have over the years diversified their pursuit in the various art forms, literature, science and made significant contributions within India and internationally.

Observing the Guru-Shishya tradition of the Baonis, Rupam has trained under the distinguished painter, her father Rajendra Singh Baoni, sole survivor/recipient of the Baghelkhandi art form, who is not just a Master miniaturist but proficient in diverse genres of painting and sculpture with numerous National and International awards to his credit. He now devotes his time to maintaining the family art tradition as well as imbibing contemporary techniques and applying them to his current works. He says: 'One cannot allow cerebral interferences in the flow of creation. When the fingers move along with the rhythm of the heart, the mind will unravel its own complex mysteries.'