Bakula Nayak’s voice has an impish lilt to it. When she is performing – reciting poetry and presenting her art – it is difficult to demarcate when her recitation has stopped and her explanations have begun. She is one of those artists whose demeanour perfectly advertises their art. Her personality exudes a fun, child-like interest in the complex, a facet that her art pieces embrace wholly.
Nayak calls herself a “dreamer, illustrator and a collector of vintage ephemera”. Fascinated by Tamil Sangam poetry, she creates delicately intricate art pieces inspired by their words. At a recent performance, she confessed that the diversity of colours in her pieces are often led on by the evocative beauty of the poems themselves. The fondest of these she found in the book called ‘The River Speaks – Vaiyai poems from the Paripāṭal’, translated into English by V.N. Muthukumar and Elizabeth Segran.
While referring to these poems, Nayak revels in the micro beauty of the mundane. Her creative energy seems to find its fuel in the vivid descriptions of nature, love, and everyday life. In her performance, she seems smitten, and indeed she is. She is infatuated by the ideas of romance presented in these poems, compartmentalising them into ‘stages’ and then translating her own interpretations onto vintage paper.
The event that this episode of Active Bangalore captures was called Sangam [Unplugged], and was organised by Aalaap in association with The Folly, Amethyst. It was an evening where Nayak launched a new series of paintings, the experience enhanced by the beautiful voice of Carnatic musician, Sushma Somasekharan, who brought along her own mellifluous interpretation of Sangam poetry.
Written by Shruti Sharada.