Making a mark

Artist Manohar Desai′s calligraphic creations have found him a wall of fame at the National Calligraphy Museum in Moscow.

Can you ever comprehend the idea of letters coming together to celebrate a festival or interweaving themselves to form a protective grill? Not until you enter the artistic terrains of Manohar Desai′s mind. He recognises the beauty of letters, which rule his creative mind only to materialise as innovative art works on canvas. And now, Desai′s passion for calligraphy, has found him a wall of fame at National Calligraphy Meuseum, Moscow, Russia.

Hailing from an art school background, Desai′s romance with artistry is not new. "I was always into paintings. However the intrest in Calligraphy evolved only during my college days," says the art lover who apart from calligraphy also does a lot of landscape paintings and illustrations.

A professor of calligraphy and typography with Symbiosis Institute of Design, Desai believes that the foundation of any good calligraphic composition is amicability with colour, strokes and space. "During the training workshops for my students, my initial effort is to remove the colour, space and stroke fear of the students," says he. Desai who will be representing India′s Devnagri script at the international forum in Moscow will be giving live demonstrations of his works on the tunes of Indian classical music. Treating every letter as a form and using the forms to create calligraphic compositions is what his artistic instincts inspire him to do. Away from the lighter shades that calligraphy works are generally draped in, Desai showcases his indigenous style by using brighter shades.

Taking cue from everyday experiences and mundane things around, the artist′s works eloquently reflect his subtle understanding of scripts and letters. Patiently imparting knowledge on the basic strokes of calligraphy to his students, Desai feels "every person has a calligrapher inside. Only the aesthetic sense needs to be nurtured." He adds on, "Schools should also take up calligraphy as a subject to encourage young artistic minds."

Exploring the realms of artistic sensitivity, Desai encourages budding calligraphers to base their work on musical pieces because music blends with the rhythm of strokes and also enhances the concentration. " Music often determines the nature of the strokes. I have observed that hard rock encourages the use of heavy strokes and darker shades while soft Indian classical gives a smoother finish to the strokes," says the calligraphy expert.

From toothbrush and shaving brushes to the traditional Boru (bamboo sticks), a wide variety of calligraphy tools come handy when Desai is at work. Having exhibited his works in around 25 exhibitions in India, he now plans to publish a book on Devnagari script as well as also organise a calligraphy festival in the city.

Creations like colour festival, colour grills and sayings of sant Ramdas bordering a calligraphic creation are some of his exquisite works that will be celebrating the art of calligraphy at Moscow.

Source: Information portal ExpressIndia