|The Dark Paintings of Druvinka
paintings began with brilliant colours on a layer of Nepali paper - bright greens, reds,
blues the colours of tropical birds in a steamy paradise. They paintings are spilt -
layered on top with Nepali paper and painted over and over again with tempera. The
tempera technique has been taken from the Moghul painters who built up brilliant colours
with tiny strokes. It is a ritual but not the only ritual adopted by Druvinka.
Oil is laid on the bottom part of the painting. Tempera is then laid on top of
that as well causing a chemical reaction with the undried oil. It is a way to let
the chaos in. It creates textures, reactions that are beyond the reach of the brush.
Druvinka often lays on 25 or 30 layers of colour. In these paintings, this has
given rich grays sometimes with under-layers or hues, suggestions of a colour
that was there in past time - like a dead bird that is now extinct. These are dark
paintings. The darkness is palpable in these paintings. It is darkness that is
all around us now.
Druvinka stalks her paintings. She works on the paintings flat on the floor and
works around them. This too is a ritual. Each painting is a universe entered
and violated from all sides. The paintings have the resignation of a whore.
They can do nothing but give themselves after the endless layers and the relentless
stalking. It is an ancient human ritual.
The paintings speak of space. Space cannot help but be a sign of spirituality.
The space is often split by the oil and the paper pieces giving a split dimensional
shift. Each has its own texture. Each one opens itself in a different way.
The split horizon is a mystery, not of conception but of touch. The rough
opaque surface obstinately refuses to give passage. The transparent upper surface,
pleasant to the touch, dark as sin, seduces, cries for entry. The silvery highlight
glimmer suggests extension in other dimensions, other worlds, a possible source of light,
however dimmed. And then, it cannot be other than the space within the heart, split
There are transparent layers in these works, different accumulations of space become
materia that we can see through. This is reminiscent of the way we see when our
seeing is disinterested, not seeking out from the category collection in our mind.
It is an old part of the brain that sees this way and it is a comfort, the pleasure of a
voyeur who watches from somewhere else but does not participate.
There are window in the paintings that draw us into other spaces. There are
objects in the painting that could be identified as seeds, circles, planets, lingas,
vaginas; they are suggestive of trantric symbols where the union of male and female is
celebrated as a microcosm of the origin of the universe. Fornication, at its best,
is a cosmic ritual.
But these paintings are not expressive of this, rather they suggest a longing.
They take the increasing turmoil of the world and play it off against the core metaphysics
of life itself. The darkness of this work, the pain, arises from having to see the
unnecessary passing of a beautiful universe because of the actions of malicious and greedy
fools. It is not a statement of despair but a warning of your inevitable
transparency that can not help but arrive on time. It is truth thrown in the face of
We have this brief brilliance that is life set in a void that had no beginning and
comes to an end will began again and not have an end. In such darkness, is this the
best that we can do with our brief spark of life?
There it is, right in front of your eyes. What do you think comes next?
Dr. N. Sjoman