Intimate expression

By K Alvares
“I have my own identity. I don’t like to be blend with others,” says Vamona Navelcar, a well known and senior artist from Goa.

Vamona Ananta Sinai Navelcar alias Ganesh is a state treasure, whose remarkable journey spans over decades. He has won an international award for his ink drawing ‘Angosh Woman’ at the International Exhibition of Art in Monte Carlo and has also been a recipient of the Gulbenkian fellowship twice.  A prolific master of line, Vamona has specialised in murals and bas-relief composed of metallic, wooden and glass structures.
Navelcar is going to exhibit a selection of his artworks at the Sunaparanta, Altinho, Panaji from the October 22 to 31 as part of Semana Da Cultura Indo – Portuguesa (Goa) event. The month long Semana Da Cultura Indo-Portuguesa (Goa) celebrations will begin on October 21 with an exhibition by Vamona Navelcar 
What does art mean to you?
For me art is an intimate expression of life. Through it I reveal all the negativity that I have faced. I’ve been a victim of injustice and through my art I try to express my emotions. I try to show the positive aspect of the injustice done to me instead of the negative. Pain is a gain in the life of an artist, and I aim at presenting happiness and hiding the pain.
What do you draw inspiration from?
I am a person who follows my emotions that is what most of my works express. There are many artists who are inspired by nature, but somehow nature means nothing to me. My inspiration is hidden in the poems of Tagore and Fernando Pessoa. Through their poems I find hidden beauty and it makes it easier for me to explore the lines of the poems with colours.
You’ve travelled to Europe, Africa and India. Does it influence your work?
Immensely! I am a ‘musafir’, a traveller and a silent observer. What is portrayed in my painting is what I have observed throughout my life. My paintings depict what I am going through. For example, in the year 1975, during the liberation period of Mozambique, along with my students I was put in prison for 81 days where we were made to work. I refused to work and instead painted all the anger and hurt I was feelings on the walls of the hut where I was sent. The paintings depicted the glory of the Mozambique liberation. So yes, my experiences in different parts of the world has influence my paintings.
How do you feel being a part of this lovely event?
Semana de Cultura Indo - Portuguesa is an excellent event being in Goa and I think it should be continued. It shows that there is a mutual understanding between the two countries. I am very excited to be a part of this event. I wanted to exhibit my art under the Portuguese Consulate for quite some time now and I am very grateful to the executive committee of Semana de Cultura Indo- Portuguesa (Goa) and Dr Antonia Sabido Costa, Consul General of Portugal in Goa for making my dream a reality.
What paintings can one expect to see at the exhibitions?
This time my black and white line painting will be exhibited. My paintings are mostly figurative art, which can be appreciated by anyone. The young artists of today usually go for non figurative art or as they would say abstract art, and it becomes very difficult for people who don’t have an artistic background to understand what the painter is trying to convey through his painting. If understanding art and appreciating it was simple, then Picasso would have received a lot of appreciation during his era.
What do you have to say about the young budding artists?
Today’s young artists have a lot of enthusiasm and love to play with colours. From what I have observed, art to them is way to escape from the world, and painting is fun for some. I would call the work of today’s artists as child art where many a times it gets very difficult to understand as it is subjective and can have so many different meanings.
I am not the perfect person to give advice, but all I can say is work with sincerity and work the hard way to reach the top of the ladder. Hard work always pays and if you are sincere with your work you will definitely be rewarded.
(Semana Da Cultura Indo-Portuguesa (Goa) is a celebration of Indo-Portuguese culture including art, cinema, music, cuisine and more. The month long event will include art exhibitions, a film festival, musical concerts, cuisine workshops, poetry recitals, get togethers and more. The event is an effort to celebrate and appreciate the rich cultural flavours of the two nations. As part of the event, over forty exquisite paintings will be on display at Sunaparanta between October 22 and 31 for public viewing all through the day.)