• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Ajit Sil’s Enchanted Realm: A Journey Through the Magical World

ByUtpal Datta

Jun 3, 2023 #Ajit Sil

Stepping into the exhibition transported me back several decades, to a time when I first laid eyes on a painting within the humble abode of the esteemed poet, Sir Nilmani Phukan. That encounter marked my initial acquaintance with the captivating works of Ajit Sil, etching the name and evoking fleeting images within the depths of my mind.


Now, destiny has graciously brought me face to face with the artist himself, courtesy of the esteemed Dr. Meghali Goswami, who kindly introduced me to a multitude of captivating pictures and two exquisite books on the artist. This exceptional event, titled ‘Expression Throw Impression,’ unfolds within the art gallery of the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra. Commencing on the 2nd of June, it shall grace our presence until the 10th of June. Curated by the esteemed Dr. Goswami, the exhibition showcases an immense collection of 175 lithographs, wood engravings, and other prints meticulously crafted by the talented Sri Sil. This endeavour is an unparalleled celebration of joy, destined to enrapture the hearts of art connoisseurs. Yet, amidst the splendour lies a profound dilemma: how does one select a mere handful of creations from an artist’s life? Which pieces to preserve and which to relinquish? The true essence of this curation lies in discerning the criteria of acceptance and rejection. Will this carefully chosen selection adequately reflect the artist’s unique characteristics and philosophical musings?


The arrangement of the paintings does not adhere to a chronological order. Some of the artworks bear small paper stickers, revealing the time of their creation. Alas, it was not feasible to examine these informative details for each and every painting. Nevertheless, I discerned a gradual progression towards simplicity in the artist’s expression. In any creative pursuit, the delicate fusion of technical prowess and a lucid articulation propels art to a higher plane. Ajit Sil’s oeuvre radiates such artistic maturity. Though selecting individual examples from the extensive repertoire of 175 works is an arduous task, I embarked on a quest to unearth the birds that seemed to spring forth with life from the artist’s nimble hands. Each avian subject, delineated with bold strokes, introduces us to a world teeming with diverse experiences and emotions. In some portrayals, the peacock emanates an air of serenity and intense focus, as if perched beside its beloved, revelling in celestial bliss. In others, the peacock engages in playful camaraderie with a young maiden, exuding a joyous disposition. Ajit Sil’s birds transcend their avian nature, metamorphosing into beings of flesh, blood, and sentiment. My memory harks back to a tale penned by the great Asian writer, Thakazi Shivasankar Pillai, wherein a dog is depicted in such vivid detail that, by the story’s end, it unveils itself as a creature embodying the most subtle facets of humanity. Ajit Sil’s avian creations have conjured that same ethereal and enchanting experience within me.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Meghali Goswami, who tirelessly undertook the arduous task of organizing this grand artistic affair.

Photo: Utpal Datta

Utpal Datta

Writer Utpal Datta writes on Film, Literature and other topics.

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