Artists

The edges sharp as a knife and the images fluid as water, enhance our perception while we look at these new and enchanting works of Jeram Patel. The colours such as reds, greens etc. Also appear in between or penetrate through the black masses only to heighten our perception further. In the works of Jeram Bhai, as we fondly call him, the lines and ink-masses give us such a sensory and tactile jolt, that one becomes aware of the reality of these images, wondrously. The images or forms in Jeram Patel's works are non-figurative and they do not adhere to any particular object or landscape norm, yet they seem to be so real architectonically, that so far no one has ventured to call him abstract artist. This is proof enough of his uniqueness in terms of the pictorial language he has created for himself over the past fifty years or so, and we, who are familiar by now with this language many a times over, feel there is no reproduction or mechanical repetition involved in this, as each time a new sense of charged energy accompanies his creations and rejoice in them.

The sources of this energy are apparently in his visions which may relate to the events and happenings of our times, as well as the primordial settings. Each and every drawing invites us to ponder over and have a dialogue with it, instead of trying to decipher it on any easy terms and contexts. We would notice that each drawing can put forth a set of resemblances with the forms and images, as have been referred earlier also by critics and art lovers, but one is bound to cancel or reject each resemblance which may appear with any of the images, perhaps instantly, as it would seem that no resemblance is suitable or justifiable enough to come to terms with the works. If a form or image resembles with an animal, or with a vegetational growth underwater, or some findings in an archaeological excavation, or a mouth gasping for breath, or an image of a tool or some used objects scattered on the ground; one cannot possibly cling to it only, as each image is capable of multiple refractions and not just one-thus in rejection or cancellation of the resemblances that may occur in our mind or perception, lies the true substance of Jeram Bhai's works. With each process of rejection or cancellation we tend to live a Particular experience, yet we move on to build up another resemblance, as any set of resemblance does not seem to be complete in itself, and go through another experience by rejection or cancellation again. In this act of seeing we definitely go through a set of experiences, which may relate to the questions of life and death, love, care, violence and terror, ruined and living objects, nightmares and dreams, ironical happenings of our times or dark and unseen recesses of our minds and memories, or simply the feel and enactment of the human emotions pertaining to the existential realms of our day to day life through the ages.

The bends, the coiled movements, the serpentine postures, the upward surges are not metaphors or symbols, they are a state of things in themselves, to be interpreted by us, to be lived and experienced by us, to draw our own conclusions. Viewer participation is invited to the maximum. The opaque veil of the black, hiding yet hinting at the mysterious, (and mystical), the play between the white and the black, the various darker and lighter shades and just tiny lines of white emerging from the black, are visuals of a very high order and refinement. The plasticity of the images Jeram Bhai has proposed once again is to be cherished and carried within us. These images will linger on our minds and memory for a long time to come. This time certain openings and closures-enclosures of forms, draw our attention separately, only to engage us in decoding, and deconstructing these with a sense of adventure. Drawings done in large format and comparatively smaller ones do not only suggest the difference in volume and scale, they also do suggest a certain intent of the lines and ink-masses to be grasped subtly.

Jeram Patel seems to 'measure' his expression through the areas he chooses to put the line and colour, thus he is not 'drawing' in the sense the medium of drawing is normally perceived. One would notice that for him drawing is not just constructing an image or form through certain outlines, perfect, broken or disjointed, instead it is an act to move forward, halt or stop with the vision one has of one's own experience. So we have the areas untouched in between the ground which is occupied by line and colour. And significantly the main body of the drawing is able to connect or relate, with the ‘separate’ areas of a particular drawing: everything holds one another in equal measure, and never seems to be falling apart; or saying less or more. The totality of the expression is what matters for him and not any pre-conceived total image.

Since Jeram Bhai started his career in the early sixties with blowtorch on wood works, and drawings in sharp and contrasting lines, he has painted on canvas, and ply board successfully as well, but perhaps it is the medium of drawing to which he identifies himself most. These recent works on paper done with waterproof ink once again testify this fact. Many a trends and movements have appeared, withered or stayed on, yet the path on which Jeram Bhai treads solely belongs to him and each time he brings some unearthed and unseen images with vigour and rare competence. His art is not of skill, yet the ‘control’ he has on the materials he uses for expression is exemplary in itself. He transmits the images felt and seen on paper, with a certain ease and this ease is also celebrated by the viewer unfolding an aesthetically absorbing resonance. I recall one of my earlier write-up on Jeram Bhai stating that "Pictorially Jeram Patel’s work is 'neat’ (without being calculative) and one would admire the fine touches, which seem to automatically hold and balance the potent images/signifiers without interfering in the inner substance". In fact the resonances, which occur in the viewer after seeing works of Jeram Patel, should matter most.

One would like to remind once again that the use of colours, other than black & white, in these works, hint at a new intonation for the repertoire of Jeram Patel, and has visually enriched the oeuvre he has built for himself and for us.

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