RELICS: SHIVA NATARAJA
Watercolor woodblock print
13 x 13 inch image (33 x 33 cm) on 17 x 19 inch (43 x 48 cm) Shioji washi
This is the sixth in a series of halftone prints and scrolls (coming soon) called Relics which explores the often unacknowledged but inescapable religious past that underlies our 21st century secularity.
If a single icon had to be chosen to represent the extraordinarily rich and complex cultural heritage of India, the Shiva Nataraja might well be the most remunerative candidate. It is such a brilliant iconographic invention that it comes as close to being a summation of the genius of the Indian people as any single icon can. (Text from the Metropolitan Museum of Art )
The dancing form of Shiva, called Nataraja or Lord of the Dance, shows the Hindu deity Shiva in his form as the cosmic dancer, the source of all movement in the universe. The stylized gestures of the dance represent Shiva's five activities: creation, preservation, destruction, concealment, and revelation. Surrounded by a ring of flames that signifies the cosmos, Shiva dances away the world of illusion and ignorance and transforms it into enlightenment and eternal serenity.