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May 24, 2019
New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Encaustic art, a painting technique in which pigments are mixed with hot liquid wax, has few takers in the art world, making it a rarely seen form. Exhibited here from Monday are vivid examples of encaustic art by an upcoming Indian artist.
In the exhibition “Earthlings”, artist B Jaya Lakshmi is showcasing a technique first perfected by the Fayum Mummy portraits of ancient Egypt, and was again brought to the fore in 20th century art practices by a band of North American artists.
It opened for public at the Triveni Kala Sangam on Monday.
A chemistry graduate and professional art maker, she pried into the secrets of embedding a surface with beeswax and then using the medium of heat to scratch it to the substrates, art critic Subhra Mazumdar wrote in her note on the exhibition.
Jaya Lakshmi began with simple paper for encaustic purposes, and ventured into canvas, veneer and now tree bark. Today, she uses treated tree bark as the surface for the encaustic making process.
“This is a completely organic medium. It is also a challenging proposition for the artist as countless trials have to be done before one establishes the ratio for mixing and the discovery of the right gelling point using a thermometer,” the artist said of the beeswax heating process.
Her works, sporting rich colours, also show wax globules in patterns on the tree bark, making it a deeply textured form.
Lakshmi has had over 50 group shows in galleries like the Lalit Kala Akademi, along with seven solo shows.