An artist’s life and images are often responses to some pressing cultural and historical needs of the time one lives in and the artistic motivation drives the mind into a journey of discovery, exploration and learning. I come from Kolkata, India, also called the ‘City of Joy’ for its people and the passion with which they lead their lives. This passion has undoubtedly found its way into my own conceptions and expressions of the colors of life through my art.
I typically apply paint rapidly and with a lot of force, throwing and dripping paints on the canvas to bring out my deep feelings and emotions. When I approach a canvas it is a spontaneous intuitive effort; the final work is honest and real. Images unfold, presenting themselves as the assimilation of environmental and emotional experiences in concentrated form. This strenuous process engages me artistically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am curious about the possibility of exploring the vastness of the subconscious, psychic travel, energies made visible through color and, ultimately, myself. There is a desire to express both an inner spiritual truth that lies beyond the immediate nature of the visual world, and the emotive, psychological and mystical appeal of pure color.
The spiral is a recurring motif in many of my paintings. As an ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, the feminine serpent force, continual change, and the evolution of the universe, the spiral has deep cultural significance for me. From magnetic fields to vast galaxies, spirals can be seen in every aspect of nature. Many plants, horns, and shells of animals, grow in spiral formations some possessing a twisting locomotion that implies infinity. The spiral has come to symbolize magic, dreams, desires and, most importantly, eternity.
Another recurring motif is traditional Indian Mehendi designs. The patterns of mehndi are typically quite intricate, and predominantly applied for any special occasion like weddings, engagements, family get-togethers, as well as many other reasons to simply celebrate an event. By embedding these symbols found also in textiles that women use to adorn themselves, I attempt to bridge the cultural gaps between the eastern and western worlds that I inhabit and express the subtle strength of women and explore feminism in the context of Indian society.
I intend to create work which is resolute and precise in its exploration of the relationship between the physical gestural, symbolic pattern and notions of creating spiritualized images. I wish to create work which confronts the philosophical and phenomenal aspects of paintings. The tradition that I come from has placed a great emphasis upon control and precision especially in the miniature tradition. I feel that it is very interesting to explore a more open approach while regarding historically significant elements, such as motif and color and reinvent them.