Meet Your Neighbour – Niladri Paul

By:  Times of India

His art delves into how paintings can affect everyday moods and lives of those who own them

For Niladri Paul, painting started even before he could write. At an age when children learn to grip a pencil, Niladri was busy doing something else. As a five-year-old, there were no ABC‘s on his notebooks, for that space was occupied with sketches the price was paid as he was reprimanded by teachers and warned by parents at home.

In retrospect though, that was a sweet price to pay. The rewards were more fulfilling as he went on to graduate from Government College of arts and crafts, Kolkata, and now have several solo and group shows to his credit. Niladri has also studied autosuggestion, meditation, and mol our gazing since he considers each of these are related to paintings.

His work bears ample testimony to his talent, integrity, and awareness of his surrounding reality. Deriving inspiration from everyday life, he captures vividly the mood and spirit of his subjects. His style is characterized by minimalist, controlled strokes to capture the fleeting thought of the moment. And how does he describe his own work? My paintings are more applicable more practical and one can link them to one’s personal life. Most of my buyers want some positive energy out of my paintings, he elucidates.

His romance with colours started with facets of life paintings, a portrayal of binaries wherein he captured the emotions of people on the ghats, saffron clad sages and the colourful spirit of the plume as a whole. Later he captured pushkar through his strokes, where he stayed for 20 days and the mere vividness of colours there inspired him to strive to understand the effects of colour on the mind. He adds, my love for travel has also taught me how to analyze and visualize colours and how deferent hues can play miracles in human life.

He also believes that a particular painting is meant for a particular place. I asked a friend to remove the painting of a jharokha, which was placed at the entrance of his house, and incredibly his personal problem was resolved within six months. This practice gave birth to psycho symbolism an art that he claims, will benefit its practitioners with energy, peace of mind and success. He does this therapy for children and close friends, which he started with Russian friends and since then has tried to go deeper into colour technique.

That then was the painter niladri. This painter however is also a social worker and actively involves himself in the upliftment of rural children. Recently he visited lonavala, under CASPPLAN, where 500-600 rural children are taught how to earn their livelihood through sculpting, pottery, print making, papier-mâché, collage, story writing illustration, puppet making and of course painting.

Another art form that describes niladri is cooking. He says, I cook my own food, and my culinary skills range from Malay to Italian. In day time I paint and nights are reserved for cooking. He has a small regret though. My wife never even samples what I cook he says with a grin though adding somewhat philosophically, I paint to survive and I cook to revive.