This year four British artists took themselves off as a group to Varanasi, to capture the light, heat, people, buildings and landscapes and something of the way which attracts the visitor.
The result is a stunning contemporary approach towards this fascinating city. An exhibition is going to be held in London this October where the experiences, captured on canvas will be showcased alongside a TV documentary that has also been made of their trip.
The stunningly vibrant works of Ken Howard, Patrick Cullen, Peter Brown and Neale <g data-gr-id="38">Worley,</g> were
mostly done while painting en <g data-gr-id="30">plein</g> air.
Travelling together with their paints and easels, the four artist friends worked in Varanasi exclusively
and the results of the trip will be showed from Oct 14 to Nov 7 at the Indar Pasricha Gallery at 22 Connaught St, London.
The collection of glowing works <g data-gr-id="36">range</g> from £700 to £20,000. Gallery owner, Indar Pasricha said, “These four modern artistic Musketeers have been going to India as a group for years, bringing back images of the people, the ghats, the grand landscapes, the cities, and this year they have captured Varanasi in paint.”
This contemporary British tribute to India is led by a fantastic image of burning ghats on the Ganges river at dusk by Patrick Cullen which won a prize at this year’s Lynn <g data-gr-id="29">Painter Stainers</g> competition.
The picture is alive despite the fact that it illustrates bodies being consumed in flame. He says: “For us India is all about light and colour and the incredible variety of subjects. It’s about the energy and the movement wherever you look. And above all it’s the sense of life flowing through everything, even through death. I was trying to capture the Hindu belief in death being just a part of the great continuous cycle of life.”
“The fire that illuminates the darkening scene burns more brightly as the daylight fades. The fire is the fire of life. It burns continuously throughout every night and on into the dawn of each new day. And this has been going on for <g data-gr-id="32">millenia</g>,” he added.
There is something anachronistic in the idea of four artists taking off for India together to paint in <g data-gr-id="34">company</g>, but the idea of a school of artists is as old as time.
The men agree that the work of the others influences and inspires their own distinctive imagery.
And in the evening, after a day spent painting they retire to their hostelry for dinner and a discussion of the day’s work, its trials and tribulations and triumphs.