Going into the root cause
Born in 1943, Sarla is a postgraduate in science from St. John’s College, Agra. However, subjects that have always fascinated her like Indian philosophy, mythology and the scriptures – have slowly manifested themselves onto her canvas.
Sarla Chandra's work is about trees and expanding greenery. She is presenting her works a though they drive home the message of trees themselves-as being a sacred and integral part of life on earth
Kalakriti Art Gallery presents 'Ashwatha - The Sacred Tree' by Sarla Chandra. A thinking bold and experimental artist, Sarla Chandra's tryst with art and Indian culture has spanned over forty years. With more than 50 solo exhibitions and 40 group shows to her credit, her signature paintings are treasured by connoisseurs of art all over the world.
Born in 1943, Sarla is a postgraduate in science from St. John's College, Agra. However, subjects that have always fascinated her like Indian philosophy, mythology and the scriptures – have slowly manifested themselves onto her canvas.
She has experimented with a variety of mediums – oils, acrylics, watercolor's, etching, lithographs, but her unique use of 'Bhojpatra'-parchment, 'Repousse'-metal embossing and 'Varakh'-gold and silver foil, are unorthodox techniques that recreate the aura of our ancient cultural heritage.
Sarla Chandrasays, "Trees are one of the earth's oldest life forms; silent witnesses to the passing of time. Through ages, ancient people have bestowed veneration on Trees making them a sacred and integral part of their life on earth."
"To the Egyptians, the tree of life was symbolic of the process of creation -a chain of events that brought everything into existence. To the Mayans, the tree was a locus point joining the heavens, earth and the underworld. In Christianity, the tree of life planted in the Garden of Eden bore fruit that granted immortality. In Hinduism, the Atharva Veda speaks of the "Ashwatha" tree as the home of the Gods. And Lord Buddha himself chose the Peepal tree to meditate under and attain enlightenment," She adds.
The Tree of Life represents many qualities like wisdom, strength, protection, beauty, bounty, redemption and growth, however, the interpretation perceived by different faiths and cultures remains the same; that the Tree of Life resonates singularly with the concept of 'interconnectedness'.
Sarla Chandra's art draws inspiration from the Sacred and the Eternal. The striking symbolism in her signature Tree of Life, her divine golden-winged birds and the incandescent Goliath stones - all implore you to seek meaning beyond their physical form.
Metaphysical concepts like cosmic energy, evolution, time and duality, loom large over her canvas, awakening the viewer to an inner world and drawing them into an inward journey of spirituality.
About her series 'Ashwatha-The Sacred Tree', she says, "I explored the interaction of 'Purush and Prakriti' - man and nature, through themes of religion and philosophy. I used the ancient art of 'Varakh' (wafer thin sheets of gold and silver foil) to bring a unique luminous quality to my art." Sarla Chandra's Tree of Life series symbolises that all forms of life and that all elements in this universe - earth, water, air, fire and space are interconnected with an invisible Golden thread of cosmic energy.
"A simple yet strong reminder that our existence is intricately linked with others and that, we as humans should live in harmony with the rest of the universe," She shares.