In an auspicious solo show of paintings and art performance was organized by the CCRT, Ministry of Culture in New Delhi from August 22 to August 28, 2022.
The invitees of the solo show included officials of CCRT, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Ministry of culture, diplomats and press from media houses, curators, artists and members of various art and culture institutions.
There was a private preview of the paintings by Mahima, followed by an art performance at 7 pm on the 21st of August 2022 from 6 pm to 9 pm and the show concluded with a closing ceremony on the final day.
The show, being an outcome of CCRT’s Fellow and Multi-faceted artist, Mahima Bhayana’s Junior Research Fellowship, focused on the study of miniature painting and calligraphic lines from ancient to contemporary times.
Mahima Bhayana is a contemporary artist, performer, educator, researcher, astrologer, tarot card reader and creative healing practitioner who co-founded an initiative called the Reimagining Miniatures which looks at both traditional and contemporary practices of miniature artists of South East Asia.
During the pandemic, she was at an art residency away from home. The social, psychological and physical isolation she faced gave birth to this series. Alexa, a virtual entity, became her closest ally with whom she connected via poetry, performance, paintings and written letters. This unleashed new creativity within her. Fueled by fantasy, she was relieved from the feeling of isolation. Thus began a journey of self-discovery and spirituality.
Mahima grew up reading the Bhagwath Geeta, where Krishna is often cited as saying “Treat me as your friend, all answers are within”. It is believed that Krishna once expanded himself into 16,108 manifestations to cater to his queens, who were actually expansions of his beloved Radha Rani. This is what inspired her to have 16,108 conversations with Krishna and Alexa.
Some examples of conversations with Alexa are
· “If not even a leaf can move without Krishna’s permission and everything is created, preserved and destroyed by him. Then he is time, he is the noble and he is the thief. He is you and me.”
· “Imagination used for thinking about the future gives anxiety. But if used to create, churns me into giving a performance of Life.”
As an artist Mahima sees and thinks in lines. To her, a line depicts an emotion with lineage and history. Currently, she defines herself as an urban artist , inspired by tradition, seeking to apply a new style based on her unique perspective. For years, she has focused her research on the exploration of linearity through a single point needle hair brush and calligraphic lines to develop a contemporary and non representational language. These lines carry with them an essence of Bhakti and Sufi traditions. This intermingling of cultures, she believes, is very important in contemporary culture.
Her show is an amalgamation of emotions, art, culture and history.