Artist Pappu Bardhan's exhibition at Ganges Art shows nature in peril

Artist Pappu Bardhan’s upcoming exhibition attempts to depict nature’s crisis

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  04th January 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  04th January 2019 12:00 AM

Artist Pappu Bardhan's work

Up until five years ago, 42-year-old  painter Pappu Bardhan used to paint with acrylic on canvas about things that affected him as an artist and the things his experiences as and individual. But with age,  nature and its conservation started creatively affecting him more. For the past four-five years, he has been only painting nature and its relation with human being on paper with water colour.

Bardhan's upcoming exhibition tilted Nature Reconstructed deals with nature's importance in human life and how it is being destroyed, unknowingly or knowingly. "I have tried to show how things natural are slowly disappearing from city life," tells Bardhan, whose exhibition will be held at the Ganges Art Gallery from January 4 onward.

One of the paintings of Bardhan on display 

“In my latest body of work I have worked with the concept of nature being destroyed and sacrificed at the altar of urban development,” tells the artist. He further elaborates how the concrete jungle all around us is eating up the space for nature and the wild. "The sheer variety and number of flora and fauna we noticed in our city during our childhood has steadily come down with the increasing inroad of urban construction," says Bardhan, adding how the pockets of greenery in the city are easily overwhelmed by the rapid proliferation of high-rise buildings. 

One of the works on nature by artist Pappu Bardhan

The artist admits that it is only in the past five years that  he has focused on nature as a theme for his paintings. “I feel as one ages, one tends to cling on to memories and nature has been an integral part of my growing up years. Now, when I see most of the greenery has vanished from my locality, I feel sad and scared at the same time,” says Bardhan, who feels there’s a symbiotic relationship between nature and living beings.   

All the 20 paintings that will be displayed at the exhibition are in water colours on acid-free, fine paper. The artist, who used to work on canvas in acrylic, has done all his works around nature in water colours.  “My paintings are primarily in shades of green, blue, orange and yellow, the colours which are commonly associated with nature and its surroundings. I have also painted fruits, birds, lotus leaves and ponds, to show the role nature plays in our lives,” adds Bardhan.

Artist Pappu Bardhan's painting

Several paintings also depict the role of population explosion in destroying nature. In one of his untitled 20x30 inches paintings, there is a huge jackfruit with a hole in one end through which commuting humans are entering. There are also a couple of birds atop the fruit. “I have tried to depict how we are encroaching upon nature’s space. I have also tried to show the travails of public transport in middle class life, where the ever increasing population also tends to dominate nature,” explains Bardhan.

Pappu Bardhan’s work will be on display at Ganges Art Gallery until February 10. Opens today


  • Ruben Gonzales

    I feel compelled to comment on your opening remarks about Mr Bardhan's shift in practice in the last five years in terms of content and medium. The shift, to my understanding, has been driven purely by the practice and success of his old-time 'friend' artist Mr Avishek Sen, one of the finest water colour artists we have in the country. Sen has been practising watercolour on paper for nearly two decades now. Mr Bardhan's sudden change is a naked and shameless display of his attempt to copy the treatment, imagery and the feel that we see in Sen's work. I would urge you to see Sen's oeuvre for yourself ( large part of it is available online) and things would be clear. The art fraternity in Kolkata, especially people who know both of them, talk about it in private. Unfortunately, our art ecosystem does not have any respect for intellectual property, leave aside legal protection of IPR.
    3 years ago reply