Berlin Artist Follows The Moon In Indian Miniature

Watching a moon-lit night unfolding into dawn fills up an artist’s mind and body of work with a marvellous play of light, colours and form. The expression of the glistening darkness comes out in poetry, colours, music and photographs — revealing things the moon shines on and hiding them mysteriously where it turns away.

French-German artist Edouard Baribeaud turned towards Indian miniatures to absorb the colours in the viewing and making of a journey from dawn to dusk. He has woven another dimension into his work — of European Renaissance art — in The Nocturnal Vault, a collection of 11 ink and water colour works.

The Berlin-based artist says,”I imagined the works as a journey from dusk to dawn, where mundane and modern everyday elements contrast with mythical elements. I wanted to create a dialogue between Indian and western art on an imaginary stage.”

Indian miniatures continue to inspire artists and story tellers from around the world with the powerful depiction of motifs, stories, philosophical thoughts and episodes from daily lives. Miniatures, however, didn’t bring Baribeaud to Rajasthan initially.

He was interested in puppetry and had wanted to work on a film project on kathputhli art. The project didn’t take off and Baribeaud walked into museums to soak miniature art, its forms, intricacies and colours. “There are a lot of visual parallels between Indian miniatures and early Italian Renaissance paintings. For instance, the way in which Italian painters represented vegetation and rocks in gardens, and nature. I wanted to underline the similarities, and show that art is universal,” he says.

The ink, in Baribeaud’s works, makes the intricacies glisten. Water colour lends the flow to the night. There is added light — of cameras and flood lights that are part of his composition. There’s drama and an element of mystery in the half human figures and the action-packed existence of full human figures. The journey of the moon is recorded in the different shapes and the moon light forms a sheet on the composition in parts, splitting it into different textures. Furniture makes a theatrical brush with monotony website here. Women are busy people. Trees bloom to touch the moon.

The Nocturnal Vault will be exhibited in India this year. The title refers to French poet Charles Baudelaire’s More than Night’s Vault, it’s You that I Adore.


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