An artist draws his inspiration from varied sources, crossing barriers of time, place and continent.
Uncommon artiste Bindu Rajendran resides in the southern hemisphere but she is strongly connected to her Indian roots through her dance and artwork. An accomplished Mohiniattam danseuse, Bindu is a self-taught artiste whose artwork draws inspiration from the mythological foundations of her dance form.
Bindu has shared with us a series of her illustrations of varied divine beings of the Hindu pantheon of deities.
When we asked her about her preference for mythological themes, this is what she had to say-
As a deeply spiritual person and Indian classical dance practitioner, I find analogies from Hindu mythology and philosophies that apply to real life situations fascinating. Recently, I was choreographing a dance on Lord Guruvayurappan along with my Guru, Tara Rajkumar. To embody the abstract imagery of the temple and the divine image of the Lord himself through my dance I had the intense need to draw. Through my artistic practices, I attempted to ‘feel’ the imagery of the shlokam ‘Agrey pashyami’ – the 100th dashakam from the Narayaneeyam – so that I could then transfer the imagery to dance and movement. The end result was a line art of Guruvayurappan on a rock and a personal feeling of embodied transcendence while I danced the Lord.
Most of my artwork feature my favourite deities, Shiva and Shakti. I see the concepts of Dvaitha Vedantham or existential duality through Prakrithi and Purusha (feminine & masculine). I also resonate with the philosophy of Advaitha Vedantham or existential non-duality through the Ardhanareeshwara philosophy where Shiva and Shakti are depicted as one, and point to the ultimate reality – Brahman.
I remember reading that Hindu mythology presents quintessential science and life as imaginative fiction, and as a creative person, this concept resonates with me. It links into my being as a dancer and an artiste. Its elements echo with who I am and how I comprehend reality through my personal framework of spiritual practices.
#Brahmanda Janani – Mother of the Universe
This painting was part of a 9 days Navarathree series where I focussed on one aspect of the goddess each day. In this work, my existence as a woman is portrayed; the many arms in this image represent the many roles I/women play in daily life. The painting itself was inspired by a verse from the Lalitha Sahasranamam.
So what inspires Bindu to draw and illustrate?
If I was Van Gogh I would say I dream my painting and dance my dreams.
My emotions and feelings arouse in me the need to draw. I am not the kind of person who plans how and what I draw. I am impatient, spontaneous and have to draw when that creative energy flows through my mind. The moment I procrastinate, the art never gets done; or even if I attempt it, the end result never delivers personal satisfaction.
A painting done to capture the essence of a ‘dance’ where mind and matter take turns to finally unite in the inner consciousness. Laasya-Thandavam is the dance that happens in my body; a dance of nature and enlightenment in my heart and soul.
#Chinnamastika – The Goddess who represents duality;
The Goddess who shows me how to sacrifice ‘the self’ to reveal ‘the eternal’
#Bhasmadhari – The ash covered Lord
This image of Lord Shiva came to me in a dream. I woke up in the middle of the night and captured this idea on my mobile phone. The next morning I sat down to paint even before I had my cup of tea! A true example of my spontaneous and impatient nature as an artist!
#‘Anantha Dhrishti’ – Of infinite vision
A drawing inspired by the powerful dance of Shiva, who continues to give me the vision to create though his dance of universal consciousness.
A painting done in parallel to choreography of the famous Carnatic song ‘Jagadodharana’ I was working on at the time. This song is one of my favourite compositions and I listened to it on repeat while painting this picture.
#Kali – The Goddess as the destroyer of evil
This art is also a part of my 9 days Navarathree series and was inspired by a verse from the Kali Kavacham.
This painting was done after a day of furious dancing. The piece I was rehearsing depicted Lord Shiva dancing in the beautiful hall in the heavens with the dumaru – the hand held drum. This was one instance when I had the urge to draw and capture my emotions of joyful abandon that I experienced while dancing.
#‘Ambaey’ – The Mother
An artwork that I did on Mother’s day.
Oh! Good woman, you are omnipresent, you are the personification of the Universal Mother.
You are The Mother, present eternally and the embodiment of power and energy. Oh Good woman, you are the embodiment of peace.
I bow to you. I bow to the mother within you. I bow to that power within you.
#‘Para Shakthi’ – Of immense strength
A personal response to the Nirbhaya gang rape incident in New Delhi in 2012.
‘Of her who is my strength.
Of me who draws on her strength’
Bindu confesses, ‘I have woken up in the middle of the night to quickly jot down what I have dreamt so that I could draw the next day. I have been doing a personal project ‘draw something every day’. I had hoped to finish it within 365 days, although it is two years down the track now. I am still working to align my feelings and flow with the days. ‘
It is indeed incredible to see one talent combine her various passions so seamlessly – dance and art, merge and blend to produce beautiful art at both ends.
Bindu’s work displays a stark sincerity and earnestness in her beliefs and she has been deftly able to mould her skills and creativity into something so beautiful and tangible.
On behalf of The Uncommon Box, we wish her all the very best!
You can find her work on:
Do you love to draw, paint, sketch, doodle, illustrate? Share your art tales with us on The Uncommon Box at [email protected] mentioning Tales of a Life in the subject line or use the Submit Your Story option on the website.
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