New Delhi: Artist Pallab Bhaumik, who created the ‘migrant’ Durga idol that has taken the internet by storm, said he was inspired by the paintings of celebrated artist Bikash Bhattacharya.
The statue, depicting the goddess as a migrant mother carrying her child as a tribute to the struggles of thousands of migrant workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, will be installed at Kolkata’s Barisha Club pandal during the upcoming Durga Puja festival.
Admitting that he was inspired by Bhattacharya’s painting of a woman standing in a similar posture as that of the ‘migrant’ Durga, Bhaumik said he needed a reference to create the idol.
The Facebook page of Barisha Club also acknowledged that the statue has been inspired by a similar painting of a woman by Bhattacharya. In a post, Barisha Club posted Bhattacharya’s painting along with the statue.
Took 2 months to complete
Bhaumik told ThePrint he has grown up seeing Bhattacharya’s paintings. The face of the woman and the children were his own idea, Bhaumik added.
Bhattacharya is a well-known painter in Bengal. His paintings reflected the life of average middle-class Bengalis, the “spiritual and physical life” of Kolkata like no one else.
Bhaumik worked as the main artist of the statues and was aided by a team of 4-5 other artists. The work took approximately two months to complete, he said.
Asked about the idol going viral on social media, Bhaumik called it a God’s blessing and said he has given 100 per cent to his work.
The statue also made its way to Twitter’s lists of ‘Moments’.
Artist Pallab Bhaumik is winning praises for his re-imagination of Maa Durga as a migrant mother. https://t.co/Bt1VZrQPyq
— Twitter Moments India (@MomentsIndia) October 16, 2020
Several celebrities and eminent personalities have tweeted in praise of the statue.
Actress Urmila Matondkar tweeted: “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Most stunning depiction of #maadurga by Bengal artist Pallab Bhowmik. Maa Durga as migrant worker with her children.”
“No matter what people tell you, words n ideas can change the world”
Most stunning depiction of #maadurga by Bengal artist Pallab Bhowmik. Maa Durga as migrant worker with her children. Wishing you all #HappyNavratri 🙏🏼 #Navratri2020 #NAVRATRA #navratrifestival 🙏🏼😇 pic.twitter.com/iKEt5Wq25Y
— Urmila Matondkar (@UrmilaMatondkar) October 17, 2020
Historian-journalist Hindol Sengupta wrote: “The most fascinating and reassuring thing about Durga protimas or idols in Bengal is that each year they speak not only to a sublime divine but also to the urgent earthly. This time Ma Durga imagined as a migrant.”
The most fascinating and reassuring thing about Durga protimas or idols in Bengal is that each year they speak not only to a sublime divine but also to the urgent earthly. This time Ma Durga imagined as a migrant. The transcendental meets the tellurian. #DurgaPuja2020 pic.twitter.com/DNdCHOQ0zM
— HindolSengupta (@HindolSengupta) October 16, 2020