If you gaze at the surface of a silent stilled lake, your eyes will get lost in the perplexity of surface opacity, but your heart will feel the flow of limitless emotions. In this feeling lays the true purpose of creative expression, it transforms a frozen stilled lake in our eyes into a flowing river in our heart.
Balu Chaudhari for the last decade has been engaged in bringing a similar effect in his creative expression. Balu Chaudhari’s artwork exudes an indomitable artistic desire to capture fleeting moments of the natural and human world and to cast it into multiple non-definitive pictographs. During the initial period of his artistic career Balu Chaudhari worked within the graphics medium especially collograph. Without getting involved in the debate about the primacy of medium or creative expression, Balu Chaudhari recognizes that this initial association with graphics influenced him greatly. Collographic embossing helped him to bring three dimensional depth and projection into his forms. Gradually when he moved toward the more conventional medium of paint and brush he successfully brought enigmatic fathomless depth into his work through deep textures of color. His forms share affinity with generative symbols in nature like seeds with their outward manifestation and like leaves with their beautiful web of life.
The present work of Balu Chaudhari can be defined as a spirit of daring innovation. Driven by his yearning to express unknown invisible forms of nature, Balu in the last two years has totally transformed his medium as well as his forms. Balu uses a dry thick base of color as a natural metaphor for frozen time and provides fluidity through his use of glass pieces in standing rows. Previous brightness of color in his work has been subdued greatly and this has helped his forms to flow.
Q: How do you define the initial stage of your journey as an artist, what especially made you take abstraction as a form of your artistic expression?
A: I cannot easily express it in words, although like all fine art students I started with figurative work, a lot of landscapes and model portraiture. Gradually I felt some kind of anxiety with definite forms; they always restrict the freedom of colors and made them subsidiary to forms. Sometime during the last year of my fine art courses I found that my work was taking a course towards abstraction.
Q: It seems that in last decade you worked in different mediums. Do you find any particular purpose behind this meandering trajectory?
A: You applied a very appropriate word, meandering. Yes, sometimes when I look back I get baffled by the diversity of my mediums. After completing my fine art courses I came to Bhopal and I joined the Graphic workshop of Bharat Bhavan. Here I got the opportunity to mix my painting with the technique of colograph. Gradually I started working with embossing and the placement of true material forms on canvas. After this I turned back to canvas and I started to bring the effect of colographical textures through acrylic colors. One day I found in the dried color scrapings of my palette and color bottles, astonishingly beautiful textures and I started using them in my work. Later I found that on glass I can have some control over the textures of these color scrapings, like forms and this initiated my association with glass which gradually became more intensive when I started using small glass pieces in my work. Presently I am doing lot of work with Forex and Acrylic sheets. I am doing embossing on acrylic sheets to derive different color textures and form. I believe that I changed mediums to find which one is more suitable to my own inherent nature. What I learned was that you cannot work in a medium which is not suitable with your own nature.
Q: Is there any distinct inspiration behind your work? From where you think you derive your abstract forms and colors?
A: Sometimes I think about how we create an art work and I fail to find an appropriate answer. I think we can bring only those things on canvas which we truly feel while living deeply in nature and human life. That is why painting is not an imitation of appearances rather it is a true picture of our inner self; of those invisible bonds which we have with nature and other human beings.
Q: Tell me, what is the response to your present show?
A: The response has been really pleasant. Both artists and non-artists alike are enjoying my work; I am constantly sharing my opinions with them. At the same time interpretations from the non-artist audience has helped me to look at my work from a very different perspective. One person who works as a principle at a school told me that my work can help his students to learn how to think creatively while a doctor sees scientific images in my work. My fellow artist’s community is more inclined towards discussing the technique, as they find it very innovative.