Mystique of mountains

The Asian Age.  | geetha jayaraman

Life, Art

The series is about the ever-changing landscapes and beautiful environment of these mystical mountain ranges.

Some of the works on display at Gallery Ganesha till December 31, artist working on a painting.

Nature has played the part of being the perfect muse for many creative minds. Irish poet Thomas Moore once said, “Every season hath its pleasures; Spring may boast her flowery prime, Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures. Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time.” Similar to Moore’s sonnet, Mumbai-based artist Devdatta Padekar’s solo show of paintings titled ‘Symphony of Seasons’ encapsulates the changing seasons of the Alps and Himalayas.

The exhibition explores different moods of nature in vibrant colours while capturing the serenity and ephemeral moods of the mountains. Talking about the series, Devdatta shares, “My current series of paintings is about the Alps and the Himalayas. I have been travelling in various regions around these mountain ranges during different seasons for over three years now.”  

On display are around 20 works — 15 of which are of the Alps, the remaining of the Himalayas. He shares, “The series is about the ever-changing landscapes and beautiful environment in closeness to these mystical mountain ranges.”

It was during 2007-2009, when he was painting a series on ballet dancers at the Florence Dance Center in Italy that he frequently flew to Florence at different times of the year when the beauty of the Alps caught his attention, shares the artist. “On clear sky days, the aerial view of the Alps was mesmerising. If the landscape was so beautiful from up above, it would be, I was certain, equally spectacular at ground level.”

He subsequently travelled to the Swiss Alps in 2013, and from then on began his artistic journey in the Alps. “I started wandering around different regions across Swiss, French, Italian, Austrian and German Alps at different times of the year understanding the landscape and capturing its beauty that included the cultural shifts too. I painted smaller works on location and larger canvases in my studio. The paintings on the Alps series formed a part of my solo exhibition at the Florence Dance Center, Italy, in March 2016.”

Alps and Himalayas are the biggest peaks in the world and are not restricted to any particular country or region, so it was an ideal step to capture the world’s youngest mountain range after the Alps, shares Devdatta. “The two mountain ranges have different flora, fauna and also diverse cultures. With vast areas devoid of human presence, serenity rules in both the Alps and the Himalayas. In both places, however, the impression of the landscape always seems to be fleeting,” explains the artist and adds, “Just as I painted in the Alps, I trekked across the Himalayas painting in different regions around Himalayan terrain; this journey of mine is still ongoing.”

Devdatta’s aim was to try and capture the ephemeral moods of the Alps and Himalayas in his paintings. “I observed people who live in the mountains, who love their environment and live in complete harmony with nature. That is the very essence of my paintings of the mountains, to admire, preserve and live in complete synergy with nature,” he shares.

Going forward, he plans to go to various parts of the Himalayan terrain and capture the beautiful mountain in all its glory. “I spent around three to four years studying in the Alps but have only spent six months in the Himalayan region. So I’m planning to spend some time in the Himalayas,” concludes Devdatta.