Wednesday 14 May 2014

Portrait of an Artist - Shivanand Kedekar

The priest of art: A priest who creates and paints excellent artwork.

A few years ago on one of my regular trips to Goa, I visited Sankhlim and also went to Shri Rudeshwar temple at Harwalem and had peek at the monsoon waterfall, and met the Purohit, Shivanand Pandurang Bhat Kedekar, responsible for performing the rituals at the temple; is also a talented and creative artist with a deft touch of hand, creating works of immense art and spirituality. After talking to him, he showed me some of the earlier and recent creations exhibited in the traditional house, in the precinct of the temple and later visited his home cum studio, a little away from the temple. He speaks Konkani and fluent Marathi. 

Shri Rudeshwar temple in Harwalem,
He is an affable man and quite knowledgeable too. I spoke to him about his life, paintings and creative works of art which are impressive.

Shivanand Kedekar's paintings take art to the next level
He unleashes his creative magic on the canvas and other mediums.
"It took me almost a decade of research before I began work on these paintings," Shivanand Kedekar said talking about how he created the artworks. "It is an outcome of years of studying spiritual literature, visiting places of worship and pilgrimage and deep research of ancient statues, relics, sculpture and motifs to develop a deeper understanding of what spirituality stands for," he added. The mantras itself has been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration for Shivanand Kedekar. "It has always inspired my life, career and work as an artist and as an individual," he stated.

More about Shivanand Kedekar
Shivanand Pandurang bhat Khedekar was born at Savoi Verem, Ponda in Goa on 22 June 1955. After his birth when he was six months old, his father shifted from his native place to Harvalem, Sankhalim - Goa to work as a priest at Rudreshwar temple.
He passed secondary school education in 1972 from Progress High School Sankhali, Goa.
Secured Bachelors degree in Fine Arts (B.F.A) with specialization in murals of Bombay University in 1977 at Goa College of Arts, Panaji and he was the first class first student of the first batch.

He worked in Goa Government at the Design and Development Center as Technical Assistant from 1978 to 1984. He later resigned his government job due to his father’s death in 1984.
Has experience in float designs participating in Republic day parade at Delhi and pavilion designs at Delhi on behalf of Goa state. He exhibited his paintings and landscapes at various art galleries and private collections in Goa and abroad at International Trade Fare at Pragati Maidan.
He was a winner of the Goa state, award for sculpture in 1986.
He works on the traditional Goan ancient motifs and antiques in temples and church, life and nature.

Due to the meditation and religious thoughts one can see that his paintings are related to lord Ganesha, sun, moon, sea, ocean and universe from where his thoughts, creativity emerges from his heart and thoughts, he tells me.

He owns a private art gallery at Harvalem, Sankhlim, Goa named Shivamurthi from 2009 where he has exhibited his many different paintings, murals and other art work. His art gallery is not just designed to explore his paintings but he has constructed it in such a way that it is multi-purpose, used for various functions like corporate and association conferences, meetings, birthday parties, wedding receptions, exhibitions etc. There is an open lawn with ample parking space.

His paintings and creative artworks speaks of spirituality and a quiet calmness. Apart from painting, he works on different mediums like wood, metal, stone, etc.

Today he is over 56 but still works for hours together sometimes more than ten hours, even at night which according to him is nothing but only gurukrupa.

"Matrudevo bhava, Pitrudevo bhava and Gurudevo bhava, is my secret of success," he added with a smile before I bid goodbye to this talented person. 

My visit was thought-provoking and interesting at the same time at the expression of art and spirituality. I had a look around the temple and the roaring waterfall across the temple compound and lot of people coming to meet the Purohit to perform rituals as per Hindu tradition. A place where nature, spirituality and art combine to express at its best.

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