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Size: 34 x 25 inches
Medium: Ink and Watercolours on Handmade Deckled-edge Wasli Paper
Year: 2020


This artwork is made on handmade deckled-edge Wasli paper. The size mentioned is that of the artwork, without framing.

The mantra inscribed in this artwork, in devotion to Lord Vishnu says:
शांताकारम् भुजगशयनं, पद्मनाभं सुरेशमं
विश्वाधारं गगनसदृशं, मेघवर्णं शुभाङ्गम्
लक्ष्मीकान्तं कमलनयनं, योगिभिर्ध्यानगम्यं
वन्दे विष्णुं भवभयहरं, सर्वलोकैकनाथम्

It translates to:
Shantakaram Bhujagshayanam, Padmanabham Suresham
Vishwadharam Gagansadrusham, Meghvarnam Shubhangam
Lakshmikantam Kamalnayanam, Yogibhirdhyangamyam
Vande Vishnu Bhavabhayaharam, Sarvlokaiknatham

The meaning of these lines is:
I meditate on Lord Vishnu who has a serene appearance, who is lying on the serpent Adisesha, from whose navel is springing up a Lotus, and who is the Lord of the Devas; Who is the substratum of the whole Universe; and boundless like the sky; with a form bluish in colour like the cloud, radiating auspiciousness; Who is the beloved of Devi Lakshmi with eyes beautiful like lotus petals; who is attainable by the Yogis only through meditation; I worship that all-pervading Vishnu who removes the fear of worldly existence; I Worship that Vishnu who is the One Lord of all the worlds.
  • ABOUT Nikheel Aphale

    Letters not only speak to, but entice calligraphy artist Nikheel Aphale, who believes in taking calligraphy beyond its conventional definition of “the art of beautiful handwriting.” Nikheel uses his own letters – akshars – as a means of expression. Using calligraphy, he creates art that is imperfect yet beautiful, with the texture of ink, the spaces, the overlapping letterforms and mingling strokes making his artworks a truly visual experience.

    The Devanagari script is Nikheel’s muse; he adores its traditional and spiritual roots, and being the script of his mother tongue, Marathi, he feels deeply connected to it.

    Born in 1979 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Nikheel Aphale’s fascination with letters began right from childhood. By the time he was in college, the fascination grew into a passion for creating art out of letters. Nikheel graduated with a Bachelor’s in Applied Arts from L.S. Raheja School of Art, Mumbai, followed by a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Design from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

    Nikheel Aphale has participated in group shows in India as well as abroad and conducted workshops in esteemed Indian institutes like Ashoka University, Banaras Hindu University, MICA and NIFT. He has also been a speaker at a TEDx event. Nikheel was invited to showcase his work at The World Calligraphy Biennale, Jeollabuk, South Korea, in 2015, 2017 and 2019. His works were also published in juried issues of the Letter Arts Review, an esteemed international calligraphy magazine, in 2010, 2011 and 2016. Nikheel lives and works in Bangalore.

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