Prafulla Dahanukar is one of the senior-most woman artists of India with her career spanning more than fifty three years. Working from abstract landscapes, Prafulla began to work on repetitive forms, as she explored rendering subtle changes of the shades in color. Over the last decade, her heavy textural strokes have given way to more expressive transitions of color on her canvases. She has evolved her own distinctive style of painting.
She has explored the concept of permanence. And she finally came to the truth that it is Space and only Space that is permanent and timeless. Everything else has a life cycle. She used her mastery of colors and shades to create depth in her paintings to bring out the essence of peaceful space. There is no threat to the existence of space and therefore it has the essential ingredient of peace and tranquility.
I would like the reader to look at her art. While there are many sites like flickr, Webshots and Wikimedia Commons which display her paintings, the easiest would be to download her painting photo book from the link given below.
Now that you have seen her paintings, we can discuss her work more meaningfully. First of all you can observe that in each of her paintings there is one dominant color. The painting may be predominantly red, or green or blue or yellow or white. The other color is generally dark brown with light dominating the painting. The second character of the painting is that you can visually see horizontal bands or lines in the painting.
These lines stretch from one side of the canvas to the other. It is these bands that show that the painting is not of any confined area but denotes space which outflows on all the four sides of the canvas. The vastness of the space is thus denoted. The third feature that you notice about the painting is that it has repetitive forms spread horizontally. The forms could be interpreted as time-lapse art which show the moving position of objects over a long period of time. They show movement and dynamic character of the contents of space. The fourth feature that you can see is that the horizontal bands are lighter and darker of subtle shades and as you watch them the painting shows the depth with some parts appearing nearer and some parts farther away. Thus the artist succeeds in portraying unending and timeless space which she aptly calls Eternal Space.
While she takes pains to elaborately paint the canvas, each painting is unique and cannot be replicated. She admits candidly, When I begin to paint a new canvas, I put down what I feel at that time. That time never returns and I can never paint the same painting again!
She paints for peace in her paintings to make her painting wonderful to live with. No matter how many times you see it, glance it, or ogle it, you never tire of it. Every time it gives you a quick way to get relax your mind. I have come to the conclusion that her paintings are unique because everyone interprets them according their own mind-set. So not the painting looks different to different viewers but it looks different even to the same individual from day to day as he or she discovers as a new aspect which was not noticed before. But the selection of her particular painting is an intuitive choice for the collector. They knew innately that the particular painting they chose was meant for their place!
In todays racy lifestyle we need anchors to bring our mind back to alpha state. I feel Prafullas painting is one such effective visual cue for conditioning the mind for instant relaxation. You can place it where peaceful ambiance is necessary. You can choose the color which blends in with the surroundings and does not irk the eye. The presence of the Eternal Space painting could increase productivity in the office and happiness at home! Her painting could bring in a change of mood when you return from a stressful day in the field!
As like any fine art, Prafullas painting is a good financial investment. It increases in value. The investor would probably get much more than the interest from bank deposit! He can sell it back to the dealer or offer it at prime art auctions. But when one lives with her painting, he or she will never want to part with it unless there are unusual circumstances!
You too can enjoy the benefit of her art for free! Save the downloaded file of her photo book on your desktop and see the paintings every now and then for a few minutes. Observe the paintings one by one allowing time for the mind to absorb its mood. You will find a feeling of wellbeing surging in your mind. Its the way to do Wellness Meditation at your desk. Do it and you will soon know how it effective it is!