by Kathleen Raine
must have been 1989 that I first saw paintings by K. Khosa, some in the
private collection of Mrs. Frenny Bilimoria, and others at the artist's
studio - grim male figures of titanic power that called to mind Michaelangelo's
'prisoners'. Some were four-headed, like the gods of India, fierce and
sad, their power imprisoned within rocks, or in geometric forms, the colours
gray or sombre. Yet later I discovered that they were unforgettable.
In the winter
of 1990 I again visited the artist's studio, to be shown a succession of
new works of amazing beauty, as if the titan-prisoners, now freed, had
flowed into movement and colours which have the crystalline purity of a
world newly created. Sleeping in rocks, flowing in waves, pouring in rivers
or rain, merging in fire, we recognize these elementals of fire and air,
and above all of earth and water. In the awesome beauty of their giant-forms,
fourfold, or melting and dissolving in movement and transformation we recognize
- remember as it were - that the cosmos lives with a powerful non-human
life. These are sacred presences.
context is not limited to any school or period - Michaelangelo and Picasso
are clearly present - but these works are profoundly Indian in spirit.
Only in India are the mountains still inhabited by the Gods, river-goddesses
bring fertility, and death. These archetypal presences are not angels of
the mind, but mighty cosmic powers of archaic nature.
recent work the themes of rock and fire are explored both in the context
of nature - some of his explorations of the theme, of the Himalayas are
reminiscent of the work of Nicholas Roerich - but also as interiorized
themes of contemplation.
So seldom am
I moved by the work of some new painter, poet or musician that I am tempted
to conclude that I have with old age grown insensitive to the language
of the arts. Khosa's majestic paintings reassure me - they restore to our
sick human world great life-giving presences of the Imagination.
Raine is widely recognized as one of the outstanding living English poets.
For some five decades the appearance of each new volume of her poetry has
added to her stature as a poet of rare lyric purity and imaginative integrity.]