Nomadic impressions 

ByProma Chakraborty

Jul 3, 2020

On the death anniversary of Premola Ghose, India International Centre is hosting an exhibition showcasing her works, bringing out her love for travel and history 

For over four decades, late Premola Ghose headed the programme division at India International Centre. To commemorate her first death anniversary, here’s an exhibition – ‘A Nomad’s Journey: Travels With Premola’.

An avid traveller, interested and curious about the histories and cultures of the people and countries she visited, Ghose made friends easily with the locals, losing herself in little bookstores and discovering cafes and lesser-known sites along the way. All these get reflected in her illustrations on view, most of which have not been exhibited before.

A self-taught artist, illustrator and author, she was also known as a wonderful storyteller. Her travel tales were always linked with vivid memories of food. Her travels took her to mofussil towns and heritage sites in India and across the world.

Greece, sailing to Byzantium

“Although the eye of the viewer is first arrested by the playful compositions of these bright paintings, one is equally struck by the exquisite details of the floral borders, the complex geometric designs of the classic architecture woven in deftly: soaring domes, arches, spires and minarets of the Middle East and the blinding white of Greek houses against the deep blue of the surrounding sea,” says author Ira Pande.

The works on display reflect a keen sense of observation for details, colour, texture and light. The show features a selection of 30 watercolour paintings on travel created by Ghose from 1996-2018.

Being a natural caricaturist, a closer look at her works reveal familiar faces deftly disguised in what can only be described as a loving record of the many countries to which she travelled and left behind for all of us to share and savour.

“Premola’s brush strokes effortlessly spin these contrasts into her parables of modern times, which emerges from her deep interest in Mughal and Islamic art. She has an unerring sense of the vivid contrasts, a hallmark of both these traditions, just as her palette magically captures the sparkle of precious jewels,” concludes Pande.

The exhibition is on display at IIC’S website till July 12.

(Cover: At an izakaya in Japan)