by Manisha Gera Baswani
When we view sunrise or a great work of art, Chitrasutra says, we experience beauty (ananda) as we let dissolve our identities and attachments; and become one with the object of beauty. It is a moment that bestows on us the grace that underlies the whole creation. Art, it said, is a liberating experience.
(excerpts from the Vishnudharmottara Purana)
While reading the verse Beauty in Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ I was drawn to a few lines that made me think of my aspirations as an artist.
“And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.”
And as I read further, I found the poet give a helpful hint to the one tormented by a need to define his relationship with an artwork.
“People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror”.
In defining that relationship – one can sometimes define oneself….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Manisha Gera Baswani is a practising painter and has held solo exhibitions and participated in prominent group shows in India and abroad over the past 20 years. She developed her interest in photography while shooting artists at shows, at studios and camps. Manisha with her husband has built an intimate collection of contemporary Indian art for 12 years. Manisha works and lives in New Delhi.