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A.K. Raina
This painter once lived in idyllic surroundings, next to Shalimar Gardens outside Srinagar. Here were shoals of flowers in spring or summer, or else the multitudinous snowdrops. The grass overspreading the garden may well have been his delight. Across the valley, the immense green valley, white peaks rose against the sky. Whiteness of snowdrops, the purity of light: the secret intimacy of flowers in the foreground; the elemental vastness of the far - flung lower hills and skies: this was his world, the country of his imagination.

For A.K. Raina the wonder of creation, then was never an esoteric thing - remote, calculated, difficult, but immediately and perpetually perceptible. He nevertheless never painted flowers, grasses or the mountains, but rather his wonder of them. And this 'wonder' found its most luminous expression in the body of his work particularly the one he puts up right now - most of it in acrylic, some of it watercolour. All these works are fresh, recreative and companionable. His is a happy art despite all the travails he has undergone during these past few trying years, an art aht is radiant, without a trace of suffering. It is remarkable that the painter has kept a level head despite the great provocation from the times. It is therefore an art of much subtlety and sophistication with an intesity of direct observation and feeling. In other words it is refined, impassioned, and unfettered.

The artist has of course something in common with certain of the painters of the century, but he always follows his own path. In innumerable edenic images, he celebrates his feeling for the vivid consciousness of life expressed in nature. Such work is done with a magical simplicity and miraculous economy. This is certainly true of the chosen of the works. Here the artist has entered, by a kind of love, into union with the life that inheres in the spirit of forms, as in the light that emanates from the spectrum of colours.

In such works he explores a variety of formal resolutions of the possibilities opened up by a process of simplification derived from the originals in nature - grasses, trees, hills and dales: the geometry and hues of mother earth. A treat!

I am inspired by the creation of divine nature around my home which was in Kashmir. The forms and shapes, colours and varying light have moved me from my childhood.

The terrain changing from smooth rolling hills to massive mountains peak have motivated my creativity. A close study of rocks and mountains is reflected in texture on the canvas which becomes softer and smoother eventually.

My works though purely abstact have a close link with the landscape of Kashmir. Her majestic and mysterious rocks and mountains carved by nature standing as silent witness to our history have fascinated me and take me back to the beginning of time.....
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