From: 4th to 10th April 2023
Solo Show of Paintings
By Well-known artist Hina Bhatt
Nehru Centre Art Gallery
Discovery of India Building
Dr. Annie Besant Road
Worli, Mumbai 400 018.
Timing: 11am to 7pm.
Contact: +91 97669 27455
This show was inaugurated on 4th April 2023 by Chief Guest Mr. Ashish Shanker(Managing Director & CEO – Motilal Oswal Private Wealth), With Blessings from Shri. Sumant Shukla in the presence of Special Guests Prof. Anant Nikam(Eminent Artist), Prof. Vishwanath Sabale(Dean-Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai), Shri. Prakash Ghadge(Eminent Artist), Shri. Milind Mulick(Eminent Artist)
Seasons and Mosaics
The term ‘bigger picture’ evokes a certain response, which furthers the visual experience of a viewer by plunging the image into their minds, frenetically trying to draw parallels and meanings, in essence, to make sense of it. However, there is a difference in the way human beings and other animals, birds, or insects, perceive the visual world around them owing to their biological visual apparatuses which permit only certain wavelengths of light or colour to be seen. Therefore what is apparent is in bits and pieces, mosaic-like, essentially diminishing the bigger picture from discernment. Over time and with technology, the visual world has become a mosaic which builds up to create the entire visual. In today’s times, the mosaic has morphed into pixels, and nature’s unique visual algorithm can be mapped in a 1- 0 sequence by any AI. But does it capture the core truth of Nature?
As the world around us changes, so does the visual experience but in artist Hina Bhatt’s works, she attempts to hold on to that last sentience of nature’s mystique which, can never be replicated by technology – Nature’s spirit. That irreplaceable life force which courses through roots, veins, leaves and the air that one breathes, its endurance and interchangeability. Bhatt has a penchant for noticing nature in its quiet formative moments. This is made evident in her series of works ‘Ruturaj'(King of seasons) which are rendered in a nature-abstract lexicon and present to the viewer the ephemeral essence of changing seasons. Reminiscent of the 18th-19th century Baramasa poetry, these paintings capture the changeable disposition of time, in the form of abstractions of foliage and moods.
The works are rendered in oil on canvas and present a perspective of moods, often expressed using colours which are vibrant or subdued, playful and sombre. This oscillation between the opposites of the colour palette adds to the play of depth, light, movement and a sensorial experience which can resemble the real changes of season. Bhatt’s application of paint is vaguely reminiscent of the Impressionists who aimed to capture the characteristic essence of a scene, focusing on the way light changes the nature of an object and makes it anew. Bhatt’s skill seems to warrant such commendation too, as one looks at these works intently, one could experience a fleeting movement of the foliage. It has to be attributed to the impasto brush strokes, especially when they lead the eye around the work and a mental journey all at once.
In the other suite of works titled ‘Roots and Bonds’, the artist changes the medium to pen on canvas, focusing the visual on specific figurations and intended meaning. Here the visual focuses upon the roots of old trees, which clasp at the earth with all their might, almost inseparably. Over this finely penned backdrop, Bhatt paints patch-worked parchment-like pieces, sewn together roughly, as a metaphor for binding. The concept is about roots, of trees, of people, of motherlands, of minds, of belonging, of love and of finding that one deep connection with something or someone to make one’s life purposeful. The works also could be seen as motifs which hold a picture together, the picture could be a reality or a person’s own reality, which is fragmented by the roles one plays in life, but is held together precariously only because of the rooted knowledge and spiritual essence of their core values. Unmoored by these precariously sewn threads, the parchments stand alone, meaningless and perforated by the inevitability of ignorance, as seen in one of the works.
There is a certain invisible connection between these series, Ruturaj and Roots and Bonds; visually they could only share the hints at nature and nature’s muses as a trigger, yet both the works segue into one another seamlessly when one considers the true nature of the human mind which perceives it. For Bhatt, nature is the real teacher, the guide, the philosopher, and when she chooses to engage with nature in the simplest of ways possible, she encounters its beauty, its playfulness through seasons, its hide-and-seek games with sunlight and wind, its unique scripts in the shadows its throws on the grounds, its aromas and its textures which fill her with a sense of oneness with nature. Such an engagement possibly gave rise to the Ruturaj series as it is evident from the quintessence of the series, yet, the Roots and Bonds series becomes the marrow of the artist’s intense engagement and her taking that experience forward through interpretations of said experiences. The Roots and Bonds series brings the mind back to the origins, to the reality of today’s fragmented lives, to the piece-meal existences, to the speed of living and dying, to the authenticity of human existence, to their roots and lack thereof, hence the mosaic-like life.
Bhatt’s works take the viewer on a journey of outer and inner realms, some are beautiful vistas never experienced before, and others are like looking at mirrors which have not been looked into for ages. This dual facet of her works and her addressal of human life through Nature as a leader brings out the purpose of such practice – to redefine the inherent unity of humans, flora and fauna alike. One cannot exist without the other. Artist Hina Bhatt seems to articulate this by trying to fit the mosaic pieces of life itself in her works, recreating a better, bigger picture with definition and clarity for the future.
———–Sushma Sabnis Mumbai
VISCERAL REALMS Solo Show Of Paintings By Well-Known Artist Hina Bhatt In Nehru Centre Art Gallery