A Verdant Adulator

A Verdant Adulator

Pranamita Borgohain

Born in 1989 Odisha, Laxmipriya Panigrahi grew up in pastoral pleasantry which is apparent in her art works. Panigrahi completed her Bachelors in Visual Arts, Painting from Balasore Art and Crafts College, Odisha in 2013 and Masters in Visual Arts, Painting from Utkal University of Culture, Odisha in 2015. After her formal education, Panigrahi moved to Delhi to pursue her career as an artist. Her practice is vastly influenced and marked by the shift from Odisha to Delhi and her personal encounter with the ever-changing cityscape of both the regions. This is evident in her recording of the minute details both real and imagined.

Panigrahi’s detailed paintings give the viewer a panoramic vision of mystic landscapes. Her landscapes include dense majestic forests with green and yellow undergrowth that looks vibrant and alive yet embodies calmness and quietude of Mother Nature. These sites are not reflection of any specific land; they are her imaginative idiom meticulously rendered through her idiosyncratic approach of using watercolour and gouache. In her work Window of Heaven, 2019, one can see the lines etching out the grass, the leaves, and the peduncle, which seemed to be possessed by a mysterious, lyrical musicality. There is no regional specificity in her works instead her works could be taken as an absolute celebration of nature. Some of her works like Land of Happiness, 2018; Landscape VI, 2019, can be highly rated as a tribute to nature through the prism of realism.

Land of Happiness

Landscape VI

However, the imminence of loss and the immanence of hope mark some of the suite of Panigrahi e.g. Bundle of Energy, 2018. The memories of her hometown and natural habitat remained untouched in her works which also has ironically seen the curious transformations with changing times. Beyond just presenting an object of beauty her works also addresses environmental issues relating to threatened habitats. For instance Hunting of Nature, 2018, the artist speaks about the conflict happening with the man-made and natural structures.

Bundle of Energy

Hunting of Nature

In paintings like Heaven on Earth, 2018; Landscape III, 2017, apart from the images of plants and trees, one can see numerous characters strangely familiar and unfamiliar at once, where tribal figures, hunting scenes, animals, modern day man, and housing all carefully strewn in one palette. Her compositions attempt to reaffirm the notion of finding the essence of life in nature and addressing the vital issues with simplicity.

Bundle of Energy (Set of 12)

Panigrahi’s paintings reveal her insistence; skills in handling pigment, the agility of her brushstrokes, where she fuses stylistic elements drawn from miniature paintings, the traditional Patta paintings along with some influences from the traditional Japanese and Chinese paintings. Her fine brush strokes, subtle colours and painstaking detailing express a feeling of tactility and gratification for the viewer. Though she has worked with several mediums, Panigrahi prefers watercolour to depict her forms of nature.

Working both in the realist and the representational style, her works are gentle explorations of the possibilities that lie beyond the urban world that surrounds us; beyond the noises and sounds and streets packed with vehicles. Panigrahi’s art is significant in its creation of a space for itself, and of an aesthetic heaven for its viewers.

Heaven on Earth (set of 2)

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