About Ekphrasis India

What is Ekphrasis?

You must be wondering what we mean by the term Ekphrasis. In fact it is a form of writing that comments upon another art form. It is the translation of an art object from one artistic medium to another, a crossover. For instance a poem about a sculpture, or a novel written on a painting, are all forms of Ekphrasis.

In the words of James Heffernen it was, "Composed from the Greek words ek (out) and phrazein (tell, declare, pronounce), [and] ekphrasis originally meant "telling in full."

Look at this famous painting by Vincent van Gogh (1889). How do you interpret it?

Is it a city drowning in the sea, or a cloudy overcast sky? Is it merely a blue landscape or the epitome of loneliness and solitude? Does this painting depict night, or day? or is it a representation of dusk or maybe dawn?

A single painting can be interpreted in a million ways.

Now let us read this poem written by Anne Sexton. The poet was written as an interpretation of the painting. It gives meaning to it, and brings it to life...

The Starry Night (1961)

The town does not exist 
except where one black-haired tree slips 
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky. 
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars. 
Oh starry starry night! This is how 
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive. 
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons 
to push children, like a god, from its eye. 
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars. 
Oh starry starry night! This is how 
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night, 
sucked up by that great dragon, to split 
from my life with no flag, 
no belly, 
no cry.

Why Ekphrasis India?

India has a culturally rich heritage. Art has flourished here since time immemorial - be it the rock paintings of Bhimbteka or the carved pillars of Ajanta. Millions of creative geniuses have painted India's canvas in a mosaic of colours. But, when we talk about art, what comes to our mind? How many of us really know about Indian craftsmanship? Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo and many other painters are known by almost everyone; but do we really know our country's artists? 

We at Ekphrasis India aim to develop awareness among the youth about Indian art and native art forms. It is a platform to explore the acumen in each one of us... to understand and appreciate the beauty of art. Through poetry we aim to communicate with our readers. To explore famous as well as less known artists India is what we aspire to do. We hope to paint art in the colours of poetic expression and give voice to the work of Indian talent.

Art is not simply an expression, it is a legacy... A legacy which defines the present generation and will define the generations to come.

Come join us, to explore the enchanting world of virtuoso.