The human mind has an innate ability to experience an event and relive it as and when required. The best example would be to recollect the experience of an impending sunrise. There is a sensory aspect, as experienced by the five senses and relished at various levels in the mind and body, and then there is a memory of an ambience, of a feeling of tranquility or bliss which is unique and deeply impactful. This simple act of watching the sun rise is experienced in its 'entirety' not as a partial, visually delineated, logically explicable process. This all-encompassing feeling is a Gestalt feeling, and this feeling of visual completeness drives artist Jyotsna Kadam to the peaks and mountains of the alluring Sahyadri ranges since childhood where she believes she belongs.
These mountain memories mirror her mindscape which have been etched with numerous facets of other mountainous regions visited or wherever her life has taken her. Hence in her works, one rarely finds stark replication of the natural formations literally illustrated on to the work as compositions like the works of conventional landscape artists. Jyotsna Kadam's works focus on the response to such magnanimous, naturally occurring muses and the natural edifices and nature spirits which enliven them.
There are ways in which an artist looks at a landscape; from one point to the other or following the way the eye follows the areas of interest, and the second, lesser understood way is by completely obliterating the former mental method, and employing a sensorial approach. The artist aligns with the latter approach of 'viewing' and hence her works become distinct and 'un-landscape' like. Having said this, it is pertinent to mention that the artist believes in her highly impressionable muse - Nature, and takes the liberty to meditatively and sensitively portray what she experiences and her in-depth reactions to such intimate evocations.
Another thing about an aesthetic experience of art is the way music tends to influence and urge an artistic visual expression, especially as seen in Jyotsna Kadam's case, who is an accomplished pakhwaj player herself, and ardent listener of Indian classical music, known to invoke an intense response from her. The works created with these muses of nature and musical rhythms then find a pulsating, energetic state of existence on the canvas or paper mediums as directed by the artist.
To simply assign Jyotsna Kadam's works to 'nature abstracts' would be a gross misreading of the works, because there are hidden elements of the artist herself within these imageries that compose her works. In the recent suite of works, one is vaguely reminded of her earlier trysts with nature and landscapes; but what one can decipher in the new works on display are the hidden glories of nature which could perhaps never be made visible to the world if not deftly unraveled by the artist's observations and deep engagement with the subject using a rare alternating colour palette of dark and deep hues with sudden moments of light revelations using vibrant colours. Like the fragmented setting sun reflecting upon the last wave that left the beach saying a quiet goodnight shared only by those two; those first few rays of morning sun, fighting against the dying of light, like brave knights through the dark clouds of monsoons; that intricate reticulated network of veins of a red fallen autumn leaf; the open raw wounds of a wall weathered by nature, many such unspoken and unseen imageries find voices in Jyotsna Kadam's works. Yet the beauty of the works never impresses upon the viewer of its origins, keeping the mystery intact.
When one comprehends the nuances of art aesthetics, one initially relates to the beauty which is the primary premise of engagement. But once the initial attraction simmers down, a further enquiry is generated and this time it requires not just the five senses to participate, but also the emotional, experiential, memory and social, political and other aspects which bring the totality of the work to the fore. Such multiple levels of engagement and synergetic addressal of a subject consciously and subconsciously creates the essence of a true aesthetic. Art historical discourses have often tried to explain these intricate balances of visible and innate/invisible aesthetics.
When viewing Jyotsna Kadam's works, one is vaguely reminded of Nicholas Roerich's landscapes and the intense miniature works of Bireshwar Sen, which embodied a kind of spirituality and detached beauty of open spaces of the Himalayan ranges, however, there is a difference. Roerich and Sen were conventional landscape painters who were successful in creating the depth within the flat landscape and anointing their experiences using the landscape as a style. In Jyotsna Kadam's works are seen to be replete with deep textural intricacies, layers upon layers of acrylic paint revealing and concealing as she determines their purpose. Also the lexicon chosen is that of abstraction to articulate a landscape style. This crucial difference between the work processes, though equally soaked in the same soulfulness, sets her works apart from the rest. The viewers take back with them that lingering call of nature's rhythm, which is like the pulse for every living being on earth, urban or rural. Jyotsna Kadam's suite of paintings on display stand as a testament to the existence of nature spirits which beckon silently invoking memory or reality to experience the tranquility we all so desire.