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Dina Nath Wali

Dina Nath Wali

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Description: DINA NATH WALLI hails from Kashmir one of the nature's choicest spots. The natural grandeur of the valley had a magic effect on young Walli's mind who was simply bewitched by the colourful phenomena pervading throughout the length and the breadth of Kashmir. Having drunk at the source he worked with a true abandon and revelled in the ecstasy of his own creative composition.

He got his earlier education at Srinagar and after a three-year course in painting at the Amar Singh Technical Institute Srinagar he came down to Calcutta in 1930 for his further training. In 1936 he returned to Srinagar and concentrated on landscape painting in transparent water colours. In 1939 he was awarded a Gold Medal by the Government of Kashmir. In 1940 he got a highly commended medal from the Academy of Fine Arts Calcutta. In Calcutta he came in contact with late Mr. Percy Brown who helped him considerably in his career and in 1953 he opened Walli s first one-man show in Nedou's Hotel Srinagar with great praise for the artist s work. He held his second one-man show in 1954 in Bombay at Jehangir Art Gallery which was opened by Shri S. K. Patil. Encouraged by the Bombay Press and the public he held his third one-man show in the same year at Delhi in the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society's Gallery. It was inaugurated by late Sardar K. M. Panikar. The response from Delhi Public and Press was equally encouraging. He organised his fourth one-man show at Calcutta in Artistry House in the year 1956. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Kali Das Nag. The notable Indian art historian Shri O. C. Gangoli was also present who addressed the audience. Shri Gangoli was of full praise for the artist's work on display there. Later he had some other shows in Delhi for the edification of artists art-lovers and those who are attracted by the charm of Kashmir's natural beauty.

Walli who is also a poet has published a book of his Kashmiri poems BALA YAPRI which has been well received in literary circles. He writes under the pen name ALMAST KASHMIRI.
Date: 24.04.2004 15:05
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There was something good in him!
I still remember that signboard on the wall of the house at Badiyar :' D. N. Walli, artist, Gold Medallist'
In an old issue of ?the illustrated weekly of India?, probably from fifties or sixties, I had preserved a centre fold story dedicated to him as an artist from Kashmir with his coloured photographs in a Shikara selling his water-colours to tourists.
Chuni Lal, who was a close associate of Pt. Prem Nath Shivpuri, musician and founder of Prem Sangeet Niketan at Kral-Khud, once introduced me to him. That was in early seventies. I took the chance to visit him a number of times at his Badiyar house. He would receive me in the front room where nothing could tell that it was an artist?s room. Another chamber behind was probably his room where he seemed to produce his water-colours. He would get up to bring a sketch book from the chamber and show it to me. There were fascinating pencil studies of the figures, houses and horses that you find in his finished water-colours. I remember him quoting the French painter of the 19th century Millet that art was like putting corn in mill and keep it grinding till very fine flour came out.
It was obvious for him, the way he talked, that so called abstract artists were charlatans.
Once I observed him on a Srinagar- Jammu highway bus stop warning younger innocent travellers who were drinking water from a nearby flowing Nalla not to do so because who knows what sort of impurities had been thrown into it?
He remained an individualist as an artist and elusive as a social person.
On a summer day in 1977, I happened to be on a houseboat on Dal Lake. I saw him passing by on a shikara selling his water-colours. That was the last time ever I saw him.
There was something good in him!
11.11.2005 00:31