The good thing about thinkers, scholars, artists and the creative lot is that they entertain, inform, inspire and bring a certain thought to the table but often live in their own peaceful space, without the glare of the media. For Padmashri Ranveer Singh Bisht there was nothing different when it came to his association with creative arts. As art enthusiasts have been recalling his contributions to arts, since his 91st birth anniversary was observed earlier this month, many recall him as a man of principle and virtue who rightfully got the well deserving Padmashri.
A noted name in the contemporary arts scene of India, he made a mark both in India and overseas. Well recorded for his Landscape Paintings, many of his contemporaries recalled him for his “Nilavarni series” which was the most talked about.
Having helmed the Arts and Crafts College, Ranveer Singh Bisht created a wide fan following with his watercolour creations, but with his real identity as a working artist struck a chord. It was his work that played a prominent role in creating a link between Indian artists and the global arena. This further helped Indian artists to get accustomed to arts experiments happening at the global level. Born in Lansdowne, Garhwal Uttarakhand, a scholarship helped him gain entry into Arts and Crafts College Lucknow. He also played the role of a painter in the Information Department in 1955. From spokesperson of the Government Arts and Crafts College to the Principal, he saw steady rise in stature in the institution. With multiple awards and accolades, he finally reached the level of achieving the fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri on 24 March 1991.
Noted theatre personality, Padmashree Raj Bisaria feels that Professor Bisht was an artist of a very investigative tendency who used to move from his traditional medium to experiment in many mediums. He was as good a painter as well as a good sculptor and thinker. Actor and creative man, Anil Rastogi said that he also has an unprecedented contribution in the field of Rangkarma. He has assisted Rangkarmis at different levels, also provided financial assistance and used to inspire and encourage artists in the role of a mentor.
Thespian in the theatre field, Urmil Thapliyal narrating his memoir said that I have seen Bisht working. He used to shed colors on the canvas and when asked about it, he said that the colors are giving their performance according to their nature. And pictures do not have a language, it is a dialect, and when a dialect connects with the artist’s creation, it becomes a language on the canvas.
As a student, Akhilesh Nigam recalled his childhood when he was educated by Professor Bisht. Akhilesh showed how Bisht’s association of blue and green colors from his costumes to all the objects and lifestyle around him, showed his inclination towards certain hues.
Avadhesh Mishra, Editor and Senior Artist of Kala Deergha magazine, said while Professor Bisht was very close to Nisarg and after making several series on nature, he made his place as a realist and romanticist.. His social concern did not end here, but in the last moments of his life, he composed the series Unwanted. He was a strong votary for self-respect and never let the art and artists bow down nor could they tolerate them being insulted.
With inputs from senior arts curator – Bhupendra K Asthana