Priyanka Paul is redefining traditional Indian arts
A humble homemaker in the process of making masterpieces with brush strokes.
by correspondent on August 14
In her home in Kolkata, colours are everywhere. Her expertise in the Indian traditional art forms is visible from the paintings you will see there. Priyanka Paul, an artist from Kolkata has a very humble beginning. But her artworks are not as simple as hers. It is a fusion of different traditional Indian schools of art forms such as Kangra, Guler, Basohli etc. When asked about the inspiration behind her paintings, she said that she derives the ideas from traditional Indian Miniature paintings, but tries to depict them in a new way.
In modern times when the fine arts industry is mostly westernized, Priyanka’s works stand different and vibrant.
Traditions Indian paintings mostly revolve around Gods and Goddesses. For a lady who is a homemaker and in her mid 30’s, the choice of the domain may seem obvious. But from Priyanka’s perspective, the answer is quite different. When asked about her life and paintings she shared many stories.
How have you learnt painting?
I have learnt painting formally since my childhood and believe me, it is the only work which I have learnt seriously. But if you ask me about my miniature-derived paintings, I will say that you have to learn Indian traditional painting styles from your teacher personally, which we call Guru Shishya Parampara(teacher-student lineage). I also did the same. Although I have formal diplomas in fine arts, I mainly have learnt the themes on which I am working and want to work from Mr. Pabak Kumar Debnath who is a humble person and expert in different traditions of Indian Miniature Paintings ·
It seems that you have started your painting career a little late. Any specific reasons for that?
It is partially true. I am actually from Tripura, the North Eastern part of India. Before marriage, I was actively involved in paintings with my Guruji. Then I got married and moved to Kolkata. New place, new settings-everything got changed. I became a full-time homemaker and a hobbyist painter. In 2015 my daughter was born. Then for 3-4 years I completely got detached from painting.
It is since 2021 I have once again started painting seriously, to some extent by the persuasion of my family members, especially my husband. Let’s see what happens next.
Why have you chosen traditional Indian Art forms?
Well, the reason is plain and simple. I like them very much. When I was learning with my Guruji, who is also an expert in portrait painting, always persuaded me to do portraits. But I never liked them. Since the day I came across Indian miniature paintings at my Guruji’s place, I have never been able to come out of the aura it creates around me.
Apart from it, it is our culture, our heritage that defines India in the realm of fine arts. If you look at the medieval Indian Miniature paintings, the entire combination, whether it might be surface or colors, the accuracy is marvelous.
Moreover, the themes are serene. Working on Indian themes gives me peace.
Can you tell me about your upcoming projects and exhibitions?
There are several projects underway. The most recent upcoming exhibition is going to be in October with Luna Arts Gallery of New Delhi. It is a group exhibition. Then in November this year, there is a project in Mumbai. You will get the updates on my website. It is a never-ending project. The more I do, the more I learn.