If chronology were to be the only criteria for an understanding of the evolution of art, this Hansuli would be a neat coda to the wonderfully wild Kaan that preceded it. As a matched set, the chasi...
If chronology were to be the only criteria for an understanding of the evolution of art, this Hansuli would be a neat coda to the wonderfully wild Kaan that preceded it. As a matched set, the chasing on both is identical but the blossoms and the scrolling vines and their leaves here are larger, more well-defined, while the few buds and new flowers scattered around are all but smothered by the powerful naksha of the main motifs. This, however, is not only because thereís more space for the greater flora to flourish but a matter of the heart and the soul being out there in the woods picking wild flowers, thinking wild thoughts, imagining a wild freedom with which to live a life of splendid and unencumbered vitality, while the mind festinates us into safety and practicality and hands us a moral compass that veers between propriety and social standing ó no more, no less.
We return from the forest with a bunch of the unnamed and unfamiliar flowers that we then proceed to carefully arrange in a manner disciplined and proper and which we feel will be enthusiastically received by the sophisticates and in turn make of us acknowledged sophisticators. Yet thereís rain in the heart, and we know thereís a whole world between approval and opprobrium we can inhabit but donít due to the common illation that weíre best where we are.
We arenít. Thatís the whole point. But this caringly and carefully handcrafted Hansuli, the companion piece of which is the Aranyakanak Kaan of last week, shows our bid for the life supreme has begun.
Through the strict form of the necklace and the symmetrical arrangement of the flowers and leaves on their vines, conformity is encountered and then quietly broken in the winged brackets of the crescent that you see at each tapered end. Itís as if the whole frieze were given flight : a release without direction. And in that one act of transgression (though itís simply a spontaneous reply to the rigidity of social tradition that, inevitably, isnít all good) the jewel is turned into a magical vehicle upon which we transport ourselves to the world of our imagination where truth and beauty illuminate every lived moment and is in the very air we breathe.
The naksha bas-relief is prominent and solid and seems carved rather than chased; ball-work, subtly calibrated, is seen on the upper and lower edges of the hansuli; and that magnificent central flower, rendered in deep reverse-naksha, flaunts its etched petals and their polished borders with confidence that verges on the operatic, the layered effect showcasing tol-parh workmanship at its most remarkable. The firoza-pala-chuni combination prevails along the bacciferous vines and the ruby core of the diva among the varied blossoms shows her regality.
The Hansuli was made first and the kaan matched to it. You know then that this falcate festoon of wild flowers ó with its crucial 'wings' ó attentively wrought by hand in pure guinea gold is nothing but "the flowery body of the earth" that's upheld by "time's golden thigh" or rather 'time's golden neck', in this case. It's the way George Chapman explained our rightful use of time.
And the Bonophul Hansuli indicates we're getting there, and clearly and charmingly alludes to our destiny being that which we deem it be.