Ram Singh Urveti, now in his 40s, divides his artistic practice between paintings and drawings rendered in ink, both on canvas and paper. Urveti is an inspired and meticulous poet of the tree. The tree trunk is his chosen signature: he modulates it into symbol, icon, parable, and mythic architecture. In one of his ink drawings on canvas, the bow of a stringed instrument has snagged on a tree: what music will it tease from the trunk, which has already turned into the body of the instrument? Elsewhere, two figures have been tied to the base of a great tree: they serve as handles, while the tree churns the ocean of reality. Urveti also transmutes the tree trunk into a snaking trident that emerges from a tree-god’s head; in similar vein, the trident-trunk offers a theatrical backdrop for an assembly of village deities.
Sometimes, Urveti blurs the distinction between the tree trunk and the river: in some of his drawings, he invokes the tree as a flow of village memory and everyday life; this conception is revisited in a resplendent painting dominated by a spreading red tree, encompassing human life in the agricultural zone and animal life in the forest, and two rivers that meet in a basin, bursting with aquatic life, suggesting a man with his arms flung wide. In another hymn to the communion of red tree, blue river and green flames of grass, Urveti produces the sense of the universe as a branching, fruiting, endlessly self-extending energy.