String of thoughts
Inspired and intrigued by geometry since his early childhood, Alla Ganga Prasad, an Indian artist in Oman, recently discovered an obsessive skill within himself that has been sending himself in circles, quite literally, during all his leisure hours.
A versatile 'nail and string' artist hailing from Hyderabad (India), Ganga Prasad, who works as business manager – protective coatings, Khimji Paints – Khimji Ramdas, has been nurturing this artistic skill for the past few years by creating intricate designs on frames - by nailing box nails in unique patterns and dexterously hand weaving coloured silk threads around them – each of which take up several hours of perseverance and skill.
“I have, since my early years, believed that art is an expressive medium of portraying one's creative thoughts and ideas. Born into a family of five siblings, each one with similar artistic talents, I was fortunate to have been guided by my father, a renowned photographer and teacher at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur - Department of Architecture and Regional Planning,” says Ganga Prasad adding that it was his father who inculcated in him the values of pursuing perfection in art.
“I was always inspired by the photographic works of my father and his students in the architectural studios of IIT Kharagpur, often fascinated by the intricate design work that would go into some of these architectural models. I used to spend long hours in mastering the art of constructing architectural models which involved geometry,” he said, explaining that the inspiration for nail art came from this fascination for geometry.
In fact, a primary school assignment of drawing concentric circles gave him the idea of pinning nails on a board and using strings to generate circles within circles. “This was the beginning of what was to become a passion to explore art in the form of nail and strings by designing patterns using the basic French curves and geometrical accuracies to portray designs, often taking inspiration from nature and life around us,” he asserts.
Ganga Prasad has set up his own work unit in his apartment in Wadi Kabir wherein he has a rotating disc mounted on a frame that bears rows of reels ofsilken threads. Perched in front of it, he spends long hours everyday, bringing to life the whirlpool of patterns that keep churning within his creative mind.
The weaving process depends on the number of layers needed to generate a required depth of field. A complicated art work, like the golden peacock, took a year to complete – an approximation of 900 creative hours.
With coloured silk threads, the scope is limited, but the artists selection is from the spectrum of seven colours. He, however, creates his own shades with overlapping threads.
Currently, the collection features '5 masterpieces' which are on sale and are being popularised by word of mouth among friends and acquaintances.
The proceeds from the sale of these 'masterpieces' has been pledged for the welfare of orphans of health workers in the artist's hometown in India, to provide them with basic needs, with assistance from like-minded friends.
“I wish to teach this art to everyone, be it a child or an adult. It’s the best form of concentrating your creative abilities, and it also teaches patience and tolerance,” says Ganga Prasad.