Arpita’s work are an affirmation of her undying spirit
Arpita Bhattacharya (1976-2001) was introduced to the world of painting at the tender age of 2. Although never formally trained, the inspiration was her mother from whom she learnt the basics of painting. What started off as a mere expression of her thoughts through picture and colours, later became a serious hobby. She gave her complete dedication and passion, so much so that it became an integral part of who she was and who she aspired to be – free, strong, bold and constantly evolving.
"no art can be enjoyable if it is devoid of truthfulness"
She herself admitted, painting to her was a form of meditation which allowed her to be with herself. In a sense, it was fundamental to her and made her a more sincere and honest person because she felt that “no art can be enjoyable if it is devoid of truthfulness”. In fact, her work can be described as an intimate expression of herself.
Although ravaged by a malignant tumour for twelve long years, Arpita looked pain squarely in the eye. She transcended it with incredible courage. Whether in art or in her life she reaffirmed her conviction, that life was to be celebrated and to be rejoiced in. Acute adversity seemed to have given her a profound serenity and a luminous vision that saw what lay behind the apparent. The element that defined a moment, a situation, a scene, or a message a posture could convey.
The Shakti (2001) by Arpita Bhattacharya (1976 - 2001)
This is one of Arpita’s last paintings. The colours she has used here are different from her usual palette… they are bold and brilliant, the colours of a rebel. The colours of courage. The colours of victory. As the demons of her physical condition shattered her physical strength, Arpita’s spirit grew stronger, ever more determined to resist the mind-numbing pain. Arpita gathered together all the resources of her magnificent, death-defying spirit and overcame her demons. Like Durga, she conquered the shadows of pain and death.
The Blue Girls series is a perfect portrayal of young girls on the threshold of womanhood. It was painted when Arpita was herself at that age. With the delicate fingers, arched eyebrows and dreaming eyes, her Blue Girl(s) steal our hearts with the sweetness and grace.