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Art: Photo

By Christine Pemberton

“I like the little things, which we miss in our day to day life.”
And with these simple, uncomplicated words, Bakula Nayak brings to life a world we often ignore.
This Bangalore-based artist crafts her whimsical view of life on old paper, skilfully combining two worlds in one image.

Published: 5th May 2017

Bakula Nayak workin on an old receipt

Take a document like this, an old receipt. Most of us would throw it away, perhaps a little reluctantly because, well, after all, it is an old document. But then we’d rationalize it with a “No, there’s really no need to keep this”. But for Bakula nayak, this is just the starting point for her artistic journey.

Bakula Nayak vintage paper collection

Bakula Nayak has always loved old paper, and is an avid collector, sourcing her paper from friends, from old letters, from old documents.
"I usually borrow vintage paper from people I know. It usually means nothing to them, so they give it to me."

bakula nayak painting onto an old document

Onto the old document, or the vintage stationery, or the old receipt, Bakula paints, never quite knowing how a given piece of paper will react.
“I use watercolour because it allows the texture of the paper to be visible… I never know what is going to happen and that is part of the joy. I have to make adjustments as I go through them.”

Bakula Nayak drawing on an old envelope

Her take on life is whimsical, happy, charming, and with a keen eye for the details of everyday life, her drawings make you smile. Guaranteed.

Close up of Bakula Nayak drawing

Be it tea-pots or snoozing cats, fish or birds knitting, Bakula’s drawings are charmingly quirky. Like a bird sitting in an armchair, knitting. With noodles. Her view of the world is one which adds a zest of magic to the sights and creatures of our everyday lives.

Bakula Nayak at work

Bakula’s inspiration comes from her daily life, as a mother, a graphic designer, as a young woman fascinated by the world around her.

Bakula Nayak drawing of birds

Animals and birds feature prominently in Bakula’s work, taking on delightfully human form.

Bakula Nayak version of the great world atlas

This looks like the cover of a book that so many of us have lying around in the house, almost certainly with the childrens’ books….but, no…wait a minute…this is a book cover with a whimsical difference.

Bakula Nayak drawing on an old letter

A letter written long ago, possibly forgotten, becomes the canvas for a drawing, and gains a whole new avatar. Life is breathed into what might otherwise be a discarded piece of old paper. The marrying of old and making-you-smile new, thanks to the talented Bakula Nayak.

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