Bakula Nayak

Artist Bakula Nayak’s creations highlight beautiful everyday stories on vintage papers, letters and bills.

Anchored by: Manasi Tahalani
Photographs: Courtesy the artist

For Bangalore-based artist Bakula Nayak, love plays a huge role in her artwork that noses out the magic stifled in the everyday, and elevates the mundane into something bright, dreamy and unique through her art. Her work of medium is primarily pen and ink on vintage paper with a wash of watercolour or gouache. The papers she uses are slices of history that carry their own stories. Bakula’s passion for collecting vintage paper, fused with her love for imagining the life stories of people who owned them, translates into tangible works of art. “I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility towards these now forgotten and discarded pieces of beauty when I find them,” says Bakula.

At her recently concluded exhibition called Intimate Strangers in New Delhi, the artist along with her whimsical paintings, also featured paper sculptures, old objects, vintage photographs and letters. Each set of paintings she created here is an introduction to one of her friends — whether it is Mary who kept a detailed gardening journal; or Ahmed Husain whose house tax papers from the New Delhi municipality were found tattered but neatly pinned and saved since 1947. For Bakula… bills, letters, legal papers help her rebuild fragments of their lives. She is currently working for a solo show at Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad.