"O fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders! O beggar, to come to beg at thy own door! Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all, and never look behind in regret. Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath. It is unholy - take not thy gifts through its unclean hands. Accept only what is offered by sacred love."

- Rabindranath Tagore
Being locked down in India for the indefinite time, tuning in to Rabindranath lyrics, learning yoga and meditation, swimming in the Ganges, riding through the jungle on a motorbike... I worship the abundance of this life, in paintings. I call it Sacred Summer 2020, because in every moment and every breath I can feel the Sacred Love pouring onto me, like liquid light. In silence. In space-time suspension.
I meditated and then watched the waters of the Ganges flowing, and I had a fascinating experience: If I fixed my gaze on the currents the pattern of the current remained still, while my soul instead was taken with this particular part of the flow into other worlds and dimensions, so I painted it. Now it's captured, when fixing your gaze on the image your soul can travel to mystical places at the speed of the Himalayan mountain river.
It is the transience of an experience that makes every moment of life so precious, the impossibility to repeat it, and the opportunity to boldly and sincerely express something that you have never been before, and will never be again, just this transient moment of life.
"Ganga Aarti" is a painting and film project made on a journey to India. Choose a painting to view in detail and thus join me on this art and travel quest. Following this path I have discovered treasures, often not those that I looked for, but so much richer. I am sure there is something on this journey that awaits you because it is a universal pathway of a soul claiming its authentic place in the universe.
I went to the North-East of India to explore new horizons for painting. Meghalaya means "Abode of Clouds" and the place is as magical and majestic as its name. This land has a very distinct dramatic landscape that captured my heart. I tied a medium-sized drawing pad with a thin rope to my backpack as I rode my bike and the road wound away before me through an unknown landscape.
Sometimes I would stop on the roadside to paint the valley. Another day I would find myself standing on an elevated cliff, from where one could see the vast planes of yet another country - Bangladesh, and paint both countries in one image, focusing on the dramatic change of landscape. I was also lucky to hike to hard-to-reach places with the local people and paint hidden waterfalls.
About Inessa
Inessa Garder is a travelling painter who roams the world, uniting cultures through art.

She began her career as an architect in Milan, then Moscow and subsequently in London. In 2016, she entered a group exhibition, TRIBE #16, in London with her City Stream Series inspired by the frequent change of capitals. She went on exhibiting in London with Focus LDN "Londoner's Compass" and TRIBE #17, exploring the urban environment and social narrative of London. This inexhaustible city gave her a start as an artist as well as an obsession with contemporary painting techniques: mixing them together and inventing new ones.

In 2019, Inessa travelled to India to study yoga and meditation only to find it was the very source of the concept of unity that she had been looking for through the lens of art. Her Indian project, Ganga Aarti, mixed painting and film to inspire people to be who they truly are. It was exhibited during the Rishikesh International Film Festival in March 2020 in India.

Inessa stayed in India for 2 years and went on to create one more series of paintings called "The Sacred Summer" as well as the series of studies "Meghalaya Journey" made on an adventure to the less explored region of India.

The exhibition "Sacred Love" features the collection of Inessa's Indian works made in 2019-2021.

Only Sacred Love is real.

Every pursuit in most modern lives is an attempt of chasing that forgotten primal state. Being in love with an entire world, including being deeply in love with yourself.

If you dive deeper, you will see that everything you ever wanted was to grasp that feeling. Being loved so irrevocably that nothing else would matter. Not even death.

The quest of my life is to express that state of Sacred Love through painting. Through landscapes of infinite perfection. Through water and its mystical qualities. Through exploring the ancient myths of cultures that I live among on my travels.

The question is: in modern fast-changing world where nothing seems to be held sacred anymore how do we return to that natural state? What can bring the experience, the sensation of Sacred Love into your daily life?

My answer is…painting. Making a painting - as meditation. Viewing a painting - as a powerful reminder of what you have known all along. You don't have to chase anything. Sacred Love is here, in your every breath, in every drop of light. You are in it, and you are it. Everything else is an illusion.

Only Sacred Love is real.

"I want that love that moved the mountains.
I want that love that split the ocean.
I want that love that made the winds tremble.
I want that love that roared like thunder.
I want that love that will raise the dead.
I want that love that lifts us to ecstasy.
I want that love that is the silence of eternity."
- Rum