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Creating a lyrical synergy between music and art

Creating a lyrical synergy between music and art, Delhi-based classical singer and visual artist Radhika Surana is presenting a solo show of charcoal drawings and pencil sketches. Titled 'Search for Rhythm', the show will be held at the Triveni Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi from May 5 to 14. The innate simplicity and flowing, singular lines embodied in these artworks – executed in delicate tones of black and white – depict far more purity and power than elaborate tonal coloration.
Speaking about her work, the 49-year-old said: "As a practicing artist who is also a Hindustani classical vocalist, the idea of rhythm helps me draw parallels between these two forms of art. The flow of the line on a sheet of white paper resembles the flow of notes in music. The use of texture and tonality in the drawing is similar to the modulation of the voice when singing notes in music. When a line escapes my fingers, I experience the highs and lows of notes through the modulation of the lines in my drawings. The blank paper stares at me and the lines move and dance in a rhythm of their own."
Her themes for paintings have mostly centered around nature, divine deities and music among others."Most of my work has been in transparent watercolour and acrylics. I prefer these mediums because of their expressiveness. But then, I felt the need to display the power of the simple line on paper. The deeper I am going into music and painting, the more I want to simplify my work. The rhythm that I feel in music, I am now attempting to translate it into my art through the use of line."
The show includes six imperial size charcoal drawings of lotuses and around ten clusters of three to four sketches each. Since the work is based on rhythm, the charcoal sketches have been titled on the basic concepts of rhythm in Hindustani classical music, for instance there is Sam – the beginning of the rhythmic cycle, Laya' – the rhythm, Avartan – the cycle of 16 beats, Matra – the beat, Khaali – muted beat, Bol – the words of the rhythm among others.
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