Eleena Banik
Contemporary and Fine Art
Eleena's art may generally be characterized as expressionistic. It has grown out of her existential dilemma of living in a metropolitan city like Kolkata where she was brought up since her childhood as the only child of a working parents. The chilled silence of the loneliness inside her inner self has reacted with the loud turmoil of the city around her to generate a space of personal void. Against the background of this personal void within her inner self, she has, at a later stage, confronted quintessence of various streams of beauty, beauty of nature, life, philosophy and aesthetics, during the seven years she studied art at Visva Bharati of Santiniketan. Rabindranath was gradually unfolded to her through art, literature, music and nature. At that stage she was also acquainted with the vast treasure of Far-Eastern aesthetics. Especially the Chinese Taoist philosophy made an imprint on her. The void within her gradually got transmuted. The darkness glowed with an omnipotent light flickered out of all these sources. A kind of duality evolved, duality of exuberant colours and benumbed stillness, duality of jubilant light and serene darkness, duality of the 'heart' and the 'head'. After completing her course at Visva-Bharati, she has travelled extensively through out the world, initially for further studies, then for her own shows or for visiting art museums, and felt the throbbing pulse of the outside world. A duality of the concepts of 'local' and 'global' has thus been nurtured. Above all her 'self' as a woman has played a very dominant role in building up her 'forms'. The agony and ecstasy of her 'being' as a woman has made her art what it is. In her paintings all these dualities play their roles, get synthesized and yield towards the expression of her own vision.

A dilemma erupts out of her confrontation of the two opposing poles of reality. She makes a synthesis in another kind of dream emanated from and upholding the subconscious. She paints mythical subjects where she projects her feminine self to confront a world, where all kinds of concepts of equality get trampled through the onrush of 'power', the 'Power' that erupts from economic, racial and gender based domination. Eleena is in that way a very much socially conscious artist, who has come to her own during 1990-s, when Western globalization has arrived at our country as an exploitative force. Her world out look has been developed out of her rebellion against this exploitation. Through her forms, where in some cases she reflects Egyptian silence and merges it with expressionistic and oriental folk elements, she has questioned the dilemma of the shattered existence of contemporary living and searched for an island where man/woman can live in harmony upholding his/her own freedom. She occasionally slips into dream and fantasy to find that true norm of existence. Within the diverse expressions of this series, the search for an ideal ' Rain Forest' of her dream persists