Her works based on meditation-popularly known as meditative art in India- witnessed revival following launch of her first painting series ‘Spiritual Odyssey’ in 2007 by former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajapyee. The moment he entered the hall, he became immersed in its spirituality and the energy of meditation. Vajpayee congratulated Pratiksha for painting the spiritual journey of the meditator on the canvas. "Pratiksha, I would like to bow to you. I was not aware of your talent and did not know of the quantum of work that you have created. Your creations are thought provoking. Please continue your search (Sadhna)." He said.
In March 2010, her exhibition was launched in L&P Hutheesing Visual art centre, Ahmadabad and Allure Art gallery Vadodara in Gujarat. Inaugurating the show at Ahmadabad, then Chief Minister of Gujarat and now Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said “when I met Pratiksha, Just out of curiosity, I asked her whether she has had any education or training in painting. Pratiksha told me, she never had any formal training. It was her inner journey which steered her into the world of creativity. I never got the privilege to meet OSHO. When he came to Ahmadabad, I was small kid, but I distinctly remember that he was here. With Pratiksha’s art at least I can savour his vision. This experience cannot be described in words but I can only say that today I enjoyed his blessings.
Pratiksha has tried to portray Osho’s vision through her art. It is a unique trait of our nation that knowledge is manifested through art and it is inseparable part of society. If we only have science, technology and development then our life may turn like a robot. But, if we add art in this modern system, it will strengthen the humanity. Pratiksha not only created these painting, but also put life in her canvas. She infused life in the paintings through her ‘Sadhna’. Her artworks are amalgamation of knowledge, creativity, faith and Sanskar and I am sure people will learn and enjoy the message.”
In July 2016, she has completed 11 solo exhibition of paintings showcased across the country for the art lovers. In the last 10 years she has produced 4 important series on meditative art- 'Spiritual Odyssey', 'Reflection', Divine Art’ and ‘Mystical Moments’- instrumental in reviving the age old Indian traditional art and the credit was widely acknowledged by the art academicians and media.
In the current environment, Pratiksha’s efforts seem to present a comprehensive document of experiential spiritual painting. Moments of meditation and deep experience of silence can be felt in her body of work, expressed through the depth of colours and a close-knit relationship between creator and creation. According to her, “it is important to be in harmony with both the inner and the outer world. Material and Spiritual can be bridged through meditation”.
As she says, “Nature touches all of us with its innocent beauty. We need to open our heart, our inner door of life to see how beautiful a moment of meditation could be”. Painting ‘slokas’ from Upanishad, she infuses life into this simple arrangement of Sanskrit words without affecting their chanting qualities. She also knows how to turn the traditional poem of the Vedic sages and saints into real and living being through meditative energy.
In most of her works she has acknowledged and included the variety and individuality of contemporary life. Through precise touch of brush strokes and use of appropriate colours and shades, she brings a completely new dimension to her spiritual art. She has tried to define the journey and purpose of human existence and its ultimate goal through her paintings, where lines do not merely limit a facade but touch the shape and model it by their very direction and comparative energy, which need no analysis.
Pratiksha always says, “Each of my painting is an effort to express the inexpressible and to offer a glimpse of ‘what is’ to any potential seeker regardless of their conforming to any stream of religion or path.”
The achievements could be well understood by the fact that her paintings were selected for India’s most prominent National Award organized by Lalit Kala Akademi- under Union Ministry of Culture, Government of India for three consecutive- 52nd, 53rd and 54th National Award. Her painting was also selected by prominent art institution AIFACS for the national competition/exhibition in the year 2009. Pratiksha Apurv exhibited her works across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Vadodara, Chandigarh and Goa.
One of her paintings titled “Whirling” was selected by well known Sufi Islam author Sultan Shahin for the cover of his book “Introducing New Age Islam”. The book was released and distributed at the time of the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva 2010.
Born in Madhya Pradesh, Central India on February 26, 1964 Pratiksha initiated herself in Sannyas at the very tender age of 11 and started living with her family in her Uncle’s commune in Pune Maharashtra. Although, she started painting in 2003, the first exhibition was formally inaugurated in 2007. The series focussing on journey of meditator was an attempt to introduce the spiritual art in the contemporary Indian art. After a successful show n Delhi, Spiritual odyssey travelled to several prominent cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmadabad and Baroda.
Her paintings were covered widely by mainstream media in more than 400 articles by various newspapers and magazines unleashing discussions over meditative art. Apart from print, the broadcast media which include the National Broadcaster Doordarshan, Lok Sabha TV, All India Radio and private satellite channels like Zee TV, Sahara TV, NDTV, Radio, Kannad TV and Gujarati channels too, have done more than 20 shows in different formats such as live shows, talk shows, and news items on her works.
A book, ‘Indian Artist Introduction’ released by LLC Inc USA on the prominent India painter’s has also dedicated a chapter on Pratiksha and her paintings in 2010. An art historian, Former Dean and at presently advisor of MS University,Vadodara, Gujarat Prof. Shailendra Kushwaha is conducting research on her paintings. Prof Kushwaha feels her paintings will be considered as a new wave in contemporary Indian art. This research work will be published in a book form.
In some of her other achievements, at least 34 paintings from her collection were selected by the ICCR under Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India, for their magazine “Indian Horizon” in 2012 (special March, 2012 issue themed on Vedanta and Swami Vivekananda). This also includes a special edit and features on her paintings.
Some selected works were also featured in author Vikram Chopra’s magnum opus ‘Shakespeare: The Indian Icon’ published by The Readers Paradise in 2011. This book was also released internationally. She was also a member of jury comprising of prominent personalities of the country for prestigious 'Swedish Innovations - Indian Interpretations' photo contest that was organised by Embassy of Sweden in 2012 at New Delhi.
Pratiksha’s 10 paintings titled ‘Divine Art’ were selected and presented for ‘Soul of Asia’ section of 44th International Film Festival of India. IFFI was held from 20th to 30th November, 2013 in Goa. The show was inaugurated by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. Manish Tiwari and Hollywood star Susan Sarandon.
While inaugurating the show Hollywood star Susan Sarandon said “In the long history of art there have been quite a few definition of contemporary paintings and its purpose in our life. The most surprising are the one’s that tells us the story of inner journey by opening up a huge cache of subjects and supplementing the revelations on canvas with spiritual experiences in life. When I met Pratiksha at the International Film Festival of India in Goa in 2013, I was delighted to see the breathtaking candour of her personality and its reflection on her paintings.
Her mystic works, some of which were also part of the film festival’s exhibition tells the story of a seeker’s life. There is something about this spiritually curious subject in her paintings that puts Pratiksha in a different league from most contemporary painters. Her decision to bid adieu to successful career in fashion designing to embark on inner journey is indeed an awesome achievement for a woman in today’s world.
b) Publications by the Artist
“Jump into the Abyss” June 2017