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Jagadish Dey
In the heart of Assam lies a small town called Pandu, scenically located near the Brahmputra, with lush green mountains around. One of these mountain-peaks is house to the temple of Devi Kamaksha. The wonderful reflection of this mountain is still one of the most poignant of my memories of the place. It was from this beautiful town in 1958 that I came to Delhi to join the then School of Art, Delhi Polytechnic, now known as The College of Art. During this period some of the most profound personalities in the field of art were member of the faculty. Stalwarts like Prof. B.C. Sanyal, Sailoz Mukherjea, Somenath Hore, K.K. Sen, Prof. Dinker Kaushik, Biren De, Jaya Appaswamy, Dhanraj Bhagat and Prof. M.L. Duttagupta adorned this institution. My intimate association with Abani Sen helped me to realize several other facets of life and Art.

It was in the third year, that, six friends, namely, Umesh Varma, Manjit Bawa, Gokal Dembi, Neelmoni Chatterjee, Durga Prasad and myself organized a group show titled "The Six" at the AIFACS. This turned out to be a very successful exhibition and was greatly appreciated and encouraged by the senior artists, inluding the press.

My artistic journey took a new turn in the sixties, when I start working mainly with simplified landscapes, which gradually developed to housetops, grilled gates, ornamented fencing and later into images of the grotesque. The seventies again saw a fresh transformation in my work, which was gradually moving towards some kind of surrealistic tendencies. The wandering lonely cloud, floating curtains, an empty vase in the foreground and an open window; all become symbols of my expression. The Seventies also found me interested towards the art of printmaking. I worked on the various printmaking processes and was able to achieve success in my ventures. I was always trying to explore as much as I could. During this phase, I had the opportunity to work with Prof. Paul Lingren, Director Smithsonian Printmaking Association, Washington, during a workshop in Delhi, as well as with Prof. Krishna Reddy in a separate workshop organized by Lalit Kala Akademi at Garhi studio in the year 1985.

By the beginning of the Eighties my work started transforming again into a very different mode. The vases and clouds were replaced by fluffy mushroom-like-forms, which I named "Wild Flowers". These wild flowers appeared in transformed landscapes sometimes emerging out of the womb of a mountain and sometimes out of a water-like body. This pure dreamscape continued to be the essence of my work for a long time to come. As the decade progressed these mushroom forms started transforming into semifluid human forms. Even in some of my recent works one is bound to notice these forms suspended in air, generally behind the Nayak or Nayika, conveying their moods as they sit pensively in the foreground. For sometime now, my works have taken a route trying to discover the harmony between man and nature. The peacock is an element, which generally appears in my paintings as the messenger bird, a link between two loving hearts, or as a silent spectator hypnotized by the magical rhythm of the flute player. For me it symbolizes an eduring image trying to create the harmony between man and nature. The present exhibition is an effort trying to demystify this inherent bond that joins man and nature in an endless cycle. One is quite like to notice the presence of sculptural forms in a few of my works. The sculpture is synonymous of an era gone by. I find it to be a very romantic medium to express the feeling of nostalgia and the reminiscence of an age that has passed. This supposedly lifeless piece of stone gives rise to feelings beyond the context of visual expression, and thus I find it an appropriate tool trying to understand this delicate link between man and nature.

I have tried to retain this dreamlike quality in my works, while trying to rediscover the relationship between man and nature.
 
 
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