Dancing Shiva

The statue of Shiva, Lord of the Dance (Nataraja) at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), has been danced into a controversy with what appear to be convincing allegations that the statue was stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu, India. The allegations have also contributed to the resignation of the Director of the Gallery, Mr Ron Radford.

So with heightened interest I took the opportunity to make a ‘blind drawing’ of the statue while visiting the NGA today.

Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), 11th-12th century, bronze, National Gallery of Australia (well for now anyway), 24 March 2014.

Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), 11th-12th century AD, bronze, National Gallery of Australia (well for now anyway), 24 March 2014.

This truly is an amazing work of art and devotion. The more I studied the statue the more the slender limbs came into focus. On each of the arms and legs bracelets and anklets adorned the moving figure.

Shiva's raised foot, drawn from the rear of the sculpture, 24 March 2014.

Shiva’s raised foot, drawn from the rear of the sculpture, 24 March 2014.

This is a work that clearly evokes deep feelings, even in people from outside of its originating culture, so to consider the negative impact of its theft from a place of worship is disquieting to say the least. I strongly feel that the statue should be repatriated as a matter of urgency.

UPDATE

Only two days after I drew the Shiva Nataraja at the National Gallery of Australia, the sculpture has been removed from display. This follows the Australian government receiving a formal request from the government of India for the return of the statue. The ABC TV program Four Corners on Monday also aired  a program looking at the case of this sculpture and raising doubts over the purchase of a number of other works by  both the NGA and the Art Gallery of New south Wales from the same dealer. The dealer is currently under arrest in India.

Advertisements

Thanks for commenting, I like to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s