Aparajita Barai

Visual artist

Aparajita Barai is a graphic designer and artist. She graduated from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad and completed her master's degree with distinction in Design for Communication from the University of Westminster, London.

Her work shows influence from the folk style and reveals the intricacy of traditional Indian art form. Mythology and spirituality predominantly mark her subject. Her motive and mission is to reignite the interest in Indian spirituality and philosophy and present it through her personal quest. She aims to dig out the ancient treasures, meanings and possibilities that have got submerged under the ceremonial practices.

Kali is the dark mother, the goddess of the unknown world, of all that is not yet seen or felt, of death or of the untapped, unconscious realm of mind. Shiva is the consciousness, the sleeping yogi in us who has forgotten his true nature. It is a moment of spiritual awakening when Kali leads us from darkness to light as our kundalini energy moves towards the third eye. There she meets Shiva and awakens him. We then realise that we are, indeed, one with God as our consciousness breaks through its limitations and expands throughout the world.

Shiva represents destruction while Kali represents “kala,” the eternal stage of time upon which the drama of life and death is played out. In this painting, Shiva declares the end either of the Universe at the completion of the kalpa or of an individual whose death has come. Kali presides over the destruction, announcing a new beginning, welcoming a new episode of creation with bare arms.

At the end of one kalpa the Universe contracts and exists in potential. Vishnu represents the soul of the Universe. When he wakes up for the new beginning, the Universe gradually expands and takes many forms. “Ananta Shesha” or the serpent with numberless heads represents the endless narratives the Universe uncoils into as it expands. Like a snake that was coiled up it will now uncoil and take multiple forms. The painting shows that moment when the uncoiling has just begun and from a deep sleep, Vishnu has woken up.

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