The paintings in Sidharth’s Barah Mah: Twelve Months of the Year Series are full of vibrant color, soft shapes and beautiful faces that symbolize, and become, the earth in passing through the seasons. Drenched in the spirit of the moment, Sidharth’s people follow the natural flow of life with content, and so joy!
The Artist makes use of the strong traditions passed on to him by Sikh Gurus and Tibetan Thangka painters. The names of months, based in an ancient dialect of Sanskrit, constitute the Nanak Shahi and the Punjabi folk calender.
Deriving his content from the ‘Bara Mah’ texts of Sikh Gurus, in specific, Guru Nanak who ‘esteems all the twelve months, day and night as ‘Bhale’ Always Blessed’, Sidharth creates strong and inspiring messages of hope and happiness. Looking at his paintings, it’s hard to imagine that some of the seasonal elements do cause destruction, death and unhappiness; and, at times, can be unpleasant and hard to endure for people.
Sidharth’s ‘people’ include the fish, leaves, birds, humans, clouds, breeze, flowers, animals, water, and the rest. View Shahid Mirza’s ‘Kala Maindha Bhes’, and then ‘Osho Art’, the paintings of Master Osho for additional projections of the one-ness of all creation.
The deliberate enchantment of each image in this series brings back the stunning eeriness created by Kanwal Dhaliwal in his The Rootless-111. Dhaliwal also takes his time meditating a subject on canvas, and he does so with an ‘urban’ passion that cuts through his images ice-gripping the heart of the viewer. Sidharth, however, displays a contained and ‘arrived’ passion developed in an enlightened place such as a Buddhist monastery to lull the viewer into the possibility of joyous contentment.
Unlike Prem Singh where trees may whisper mild thunders below a tumultuous stroke, Sidharth’s brush glides on the canvas in slow motion creating symbols of storms that almost ‘prettily’ hang above the earth and the earthlings.
Another important but rather ‘local’ aspect of Sidharth’s Bara Mah series is that it gives color to the black and white Uddari Art pages as do the paintings of Navpreet Kaur. Both are ‘earthy’ painters; one paints the earth as she feels it; the other, as we would imagine it. I love to have both on the virtual wall of Uddari Art as it is to the palette of these two that the mysterious Monotone mind of this blog design responds with its own splash of color on the page.
If you find fresh smiles on glowing pink faces in Maagh, the months of January-February, and are perplexed because you live in Toronto, for example; remember, Punjab is a hot country where Maagh is like Chaiter-Waisaakh or even Jeth-HaaRh.
1. Chyet/Chaiter – March-April
2. Waisaakh – April-May
3. Jeth – May-June
4. Asaarh/HaaRh – June-July
5. Sawan/Saawan – July-August
6. Bhadoen/BhaadoN – August/September
7. Aasun/Assoo – September/October
8. Katke/Katak/KateiN – October/November
9. Manghar/Maghar – November-December
10. Poukh/Poh – December-January
11. Maagh – January-February
12. Falgun/Phaggan – February-March
Bara Mah Texts
There are three ‘Barah Maha’ texts by Sikh Gurus. Two of them are recorded in ‘Shri Guru Granth Sahib’ (The Holy book of Sikhs). The first Guru Baba Nanak sung Barah Maha In Raga Tukhari while the fifth Guru Arjan Dev‘s hymns are composed in raga Maajh. The third text is recorded in ‘Shri Dasam Granth’ by Tenth Guru Gobind Singh in Krishna Leela Epic.