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Thursday, 1 September 2016

New Delhi: Eight women artists have transformed their fascination for nature and the life around them into 'poetic' and 'colourful' artworks which are a part of an ongoing exhibition here.

The month-long untitled show underway at Art Junction Gallery at The Lalit here, has on display over 40 artworks.

City-based artist Dhara Mehrotra feels nature has had a dominating presence at various points of time in her life and her work is a reflection of different elements of the ecology such as flora, foliage, ferns, petals, grass, weeds, pollen and more.

In her paintings titled, 'Rhapsody,' she paints one of these elements on a plain and relatively light background, often lending it an impression of 'a random splash, cluster or a sprinkle.'

"I explored the ideas of Zen minimalism where one sees transcendence in simpler forms of life, nature and environment. The purpose is to realize synergy and interrelation between space and things, to outgrow the notion of isolated consciousness," says Mehrotra.

The words of British Romantic poet William Wordsworth have often driven her to interact with nature as a 'spiritual discipline,' with dandelions and tulips recurring more than often in her art.

"William Wordsworth's nature poetry has inspired and helped me in understanding the communion with nature as spiritual discipline. Hence, it was clearly a strong influence and constituted the core for my work," says Mehrotra.

Similar imagery appears in her wall installations which began 'as extension of the painting itself on wall around it as sort of flowing of the clustered petals and dragonflies used in painting, outside the frame.'

One of her installations titled 'Memories (2013)' is a wall pinned with dragonflies, each of which symbolises a memory. It attempts to make the viewer a part of the artwork by making a silent gesture of archiving the dragonflies as memories on the wall.

Mehrotra says that even though enhancing the material and technique of art making is the broader agenda of any form of art, the idea is also to 'explore a constant and utopian relationship with nature, environment and aspects of world around us.'

Simple Mohanty who teaches of Political Science at the Delhi University here, is assiduously following her passion to paint and has ventured into acrylics and oils for the first time.

Mohanty's artworks that are on display at the exhibition are compositions showcasing scenes from the daily life around - street vendors and festivities.

"Earlier I used water colours to paint. It is the first time I have ventured into acrylics and oil. The themes that I have chosen are - one is about street vendors on a Delhi street and the other is inspired by the festivities," says the artist.   

Even though everything in her surroundings serves as an inspiration, but festivities attract Mohanty the most. Her series on the festival, Chhatt is part of the show.

She says she also wishes to paint an entire series on street vendors. "I am more attracted towards people belonging to folk communities, the very essence of festivities and colours infused in the celebrations. It is always reflected in my work," she says.

'The Tea Time Chatter' by Sudhamani Mishra etches a customary scene at a tea stall with the chaiwallah surrounded by customers. Another work by her, 'The Shop, Shopper and Shopkeeper' in contrasting colours portrays the picture of a garment merchant with his patrons.

Mishra evidently is drawn towards the petty businesses that run in cities alongside the malls, in a desire to tell their stories through her paintings.

The selling show which is scheduled to continue till 25 September, has artworks priced between a range of Rs 30,000 and Rs 3 lakhs.

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