On June 5, 2016 the solo exhibition of the renowned artist from Chandigarh Prof. Sadhna Sangar, Joint Director, Сolleges, Punjab, Secretary, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, and President of “We,” the group of contemporary women artists, opened in the Himalayan Roerich Estate in Naggar. Mrs. Larisa Surgina, Russian Curator, International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), Naggar, and the employee of the International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow, was the Guest of Honour of the opening ceremony. The event was attended by Sadhna Sangar’s former teacher Prof. Harpreet Kaur, Department of Art History, Government College, Mohali, Punjab. Students of the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children managed by the IRMT, Naggar, actively participated in the ceremony.
Sadhna Sangar’s Exhibition in the Himalayan Roerich Estate
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Ramesh Chander, Indian Curator, IRMT, noted that it was Sadhna Sangar’s fourth exhibition in the Roerich Estate. For the present exhibition Prof. Sangar created a whole new series of works done in acrylic on canvas. The series depicts blue and purple rocks, mountain peaks and waterfalls in different time of day and night, and mysterious moonlight landscapes.
Sadhna Sangar’s works not only record Himalayan splendour and power. Her language is highly symbolic. Her rocks stand for fortitude, while waterfalls symbolize purity. Rapid, powerful and pellucid, mountain rivers never stop, no matter how massive the obstruction. In Prof. Sangar’s art they become a symbol of what life should be: intrepid, unstoppable and pure. Her colours are suggestive of spiritual qualities: the blue that dominates the palette of the present exhibition stands for the high level of consciousness and self-control, white for peace, and purple for the highest stage of yogic realization.
And then there are ubiquitous birds in the foreground of almost every painting of hers. In Prof. Sangar’s oeuvre these small and lovely creatures, fragile and vulnerable, ever alert and attentive, are symbolic of woman in general and of herself in particular. Despite their miniscule size they are unafraid of the rapid current steadfastly facing its pressure, and even relish this intense experience. They are free to choose where to fly. They are free, as free as man’s soul.
Sadhna Sangar’s works, therefore, are not mere landscapes. They reflect the inner world of the artist, her spiritual quest and achievements. They carry a powerful message of the spirit addressed to all.
The artist has extensively travelled in Himachal Pradesh but Naggar has a special significance for her due to its connection with the Russian sage-artist Nicholas Roerich. The series is both inspired by Roerich’s art and is her tribute to this Russian Maharshi. While working on the series Prof. Sangar got up before sunrise to see for herself the morning colours of the Himalayas and to feel the beauty that so much inspired Roerich.