ARTIST STATEMENT
       

  When I begin to paint a new work, I always do so with an idea - a notion that I wish to express through my work. These concepts spontaneously begin to emerge as images in my work. However, given that the process of painting is always subject to my restless impatient nature, the painting never remains as originally perceived but instead gives way to different textures and colors which camouflage the forms with daubs of paint. The story morphs itself in these daubs. 
      A lot of the images in my paintings emerge from metaphors. These metaphors develop in my painting as an expression, a language of sorts. As a visual artist, I have always been intrigued by this language of painting and how it differs from a spoken one. I particularly relish conceptualising and effecting the inter-dependency of my thoughts with the visuals during the act of creating. And how, in the process of creating a work of art, the flamboyancy of the painting's visual form can often supersede its verbal counterpart.  
The subjects of my works usually deal with idealism perhaps simply expressed as an escape route from the grave realities of our time which are constantly fed to us through the media and our fast changing surroundings. 
There is no escaping this reality for me except in my work. Quite simply, I paint to feel good about the world I live in. My paintings are to sway and indicate a constant flow or perpetuity, I prefer the use of “fluid” forms which signify an eternity and vastness. Water, clouds or shapes from nature which can be manoeuvred to adapt to the flow of paint. Images are not burdened with having a defined structure or rigidity. Nor do they carry the weight of the reality of our times. 
  "The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. ...Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant."
                        (The Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera)
As I draw inspiration from the above quote, I also note that it highlights a divergence from importance, shows insignificance or emptiness in the expression of my notions. As a result, I play around with idea of "camouflage" in my works. To create gravity or depth of the situations visualised in my painting. A camouflage through textures and contrasting forms to not only perform with the mind and heart but also to attempt to convey and indeed to emphasise its significance...

 

 

 

CAMOUFLAGE

In a painting, aim first at the general concept of rhythmic vitality, and then the filling in
of actual forms.Then weigh and consider. But if one has not the clear idea of the general
developing of movements and starts to think about the laborious details, one will have lost
the rhythmic vitality already.

 

Han Chuo of the Sung Dynasty (11th -12th century A.D.)

Camouflage is the visual spectacle I attempt to create in my paintings. Combining the ingenuity of the concept with daubs of paint, I seek to explore the constant rhythm in nature to bond both the notion of camouflage and the process of my painting.

Camouflage, a phenomenon discovered in nature, can be described as the art of concealment practiced by both predators and prey. The connotation of the word 'Camouflage' is similar in my paintings. A painting occupies fields of motionless colour which creates a vision or an illusion. While a canvas may spatially limit these visions, they are let free by the artist's imagination and ability to creatively disguise. Likewise, a camouflage refers to deception through the disguise of form and colour. In a painting, the background, middle ground, and foreground, in its actual or tactile sense, are not really there. The real or tangible appearance is an effusive gush of varied paints on the flat white surface of the canvas creating 'illusions of space and form'. Such observations were similar to the fundamental queries on the dimensions of fine art raised in the early 20th century. These initiated various avant-garde movements that restructured and deconstructed the very nature of paintings, by exposing multi-dimensional forms on a single plane. My attempt, while in a similar vein, is slightly different. Inspired by nature, I endeavor to reposition lines and colors to the foreground by exposing the different layers that surface on a painting; these layers usually work to create illusions of perspective and dimensions. The various layers created on the flat surface are partially covered revealing the underlying layers. Thus the opacity in a painting, which creates illusions of space and perspective, is now revealed. In this process, I felt it suitable to make the notion of camouflage as the theme of my works - to reiterate the 'paradox' of the idea of camouflage in a painting.

There is a lesser-known but equally inspirational form of camouflage which does not rely on the concealment of the presence of an object, but instead on masking the fact that it is moving. Called 'Motion Camouflage', this dynamic technique was also discovered in nature. Hoverflies and dragonflies use this strategy to surreptitiously move towards their prey without being detected. They appear static while, in fact, they are in motion. As a painting is, in a literal sense, a motionless surface manifesting the artist's imagination, I have taken the artistic liberty to create the contrary. A field of sunflowers lined up in symmetry, giving the impression that the sunflowers at the other end are in symmetrical movement, while in reality they are motionless and calm…

 

 

CIRCLES IN SQUARES

The idea behind these works involves the first impressions I had of the city-Baroda after I revisited it in 2007, with an aim to pursue my art practice here. What caught my attention (fleetingly), were the attractive circles, with sculpted areas in or around them, few of them done by some noteworthy artists of the city, adding to its rich cultural and artistic ethos. I eventually realised that these circles, though located at hubs, are always in passing and I actually never had a chance to see them in detail or closely, unless I intentionally stayed on, or was stuck in traffic. The idea of the circle is to move on in either direction. The circle in the city marks the various centres in the city, a meeting point from which there is constant movement. All these years I actually just had 'glimpses' of the sculptures in these circles, though I have passed them a countless times. And usually the circle is at crossroads leading to imagined 'straight lines' which connect to the circle as roads, joining at points to form angular shapes, such as imagined squares.
Differently, a 'square' in a city such as Times Square in New York signifies a place to hang out, like a social gathering, a space to linger and indulge. This idea intrigued me and probed me to paint the sculptures in the circles on square canvases.
The activity of a 'transient look' performs as the main concept in my work. Thus without indulging in other areas like the context and reasons behind the position of these sculptures, or who sculpted them, I use these 3-dimensional created art forms situated in their multidimensional role as a base for my paintings.

These paintings were exhibited for a show titled 3for,an outcome of a blog- 3for established in the year 2007, which is a document of the 'process' of 3 artists situated in different places creating art works. Archana Prasad (based in Bangalore), Pooja Gupta Cambell (based in Washington D.C.) and Nirali Lal (based in Baroda). It is a rich document of each artists personal journey through weekly notes. The peer critiques play an important role in documenting the dialog between the 3 artists while also providing an external objective perspective on this honest and introspective process. The show in January 2011 is in Bangalore at "Jaaga- creative common ground", Jaaga is an artistic collaboration, creating a modular, mobile and temporary structure. (www.jaaga.in). Based in Bangalore, Jaaga is an artistic endeavour by one of the 3For members – Archana Prasad.
For this project, each artist is allowed to dwell upon their personal memories connecting their place of work, getting together to exhibit in separate spaces within 'Jaaga' to reflect and create upon individual ideas, with 'Jaaga' being a part of this project. With monitors put up, the display would have excerpts from the blog, which otherwise is limited to a private viewing... essentially the three of us.

Blood a Metaphor for Emotions

'The abstract mirrors the tangible

Emotions in my paintings

Different minds, different hearts

Together we love, hate, create

Volcanic eruptions

calm water springs

meandering blobs in us

gushes across the sky

You come and go

Having no volume

But carry a lot of weight

The colour blood is from my heart

You burst with love...'