Gulzar to inaugurate art show on naturescapes

Noted poet and bollywood lyricist Gulzar will be in Capital on Wednesday to inaugurate a debut solo show of paintings that capture the beauty of forests and mountains.

Titled "Shakhein: Another Tree, Another Sky," the show by Delhi-based artist Renuka Varma has been curated by Alka Pande and depicts a refreshing perspective on nature and environment, especially trees. 

The paintings have been inspired both by Varma's travels as the wife of a diplomat (Pavan K. Varma) and has childhood nostalgia of having grown up in Mussoorie.

"I grew up in the foothills of the Himalayas. The mountains were lush green, there was ample snow in winter, and the valleys were full of flowers in summer. I spent most of my spare time sitting outdoors, watching the changing moods of the forest, and listening to the sounds of nature. I often go to Mussoorie even now and I'm pained to see how the landscape has changed. These forests have almost disappeared as the hills have been vandalised by all of us. 

"I still live in those forests, and relive those monsoon sunsets, the green hills turning pink, purple and gold. In my mind, I touch again those mountain slopes, sway again with the trees, and walk amidst the lush undergrowth of the forest. I have tried to paint some of these memories that refuse to leave the recesses of my mind. The forests are disappearing and this is true for the entire country. Through my work, I want to not only revisit my childhood but also bring back focus on why environment and its protection are important," Varma shared. 

She is a law graduate from Delhi University and after getting married to Pavan K. Varma, whose foreign postings took her to various countries, she continued to paint what inspired her. 

For instance, in Romania, she was charmed by and created glass paintings. She took to oils in Moscow and Cyprus and recalled that her first serious initiation into art was when she saw a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition in Bulgaria, her husband's first foreign posting. 

Encompassing nearly 30 paintings in oils and acrylics on canvas, the show will be inaugurated by Gulzar on Wednesday at the Visual Arts Gallery in India Habitat Centre here and will then continue for public viewing till March 6.