Thursday, July 14, 2011

An artist who seeks inspiration from her experiences and socio-political concerns

Whether painting her own world, portraying her immediate realm (in the 1970s and ’80s) as her children grew up, or trying to engage with the burning issue of dowry deaths, in her sensitive serial folios, of a girl who died because of the indifferent of her marital family, Nilima Sheikh seeks alternative ways of expression.

The sensitive artist further counts the presence of parallel textual narratives as well as performative forms in her practice. She has also done illustrations for children’s books apart from painting sets and backdrops for dramas; quietly letting these experiences seep into her work: sometimes large, hanging captivating canvas scrolls richly painted on both sides and sometimes miniatures on paper. Through means like oral poetry tradition, folklore, contemporary historical annotations and her own experiences, she has explored the variables of varied feminine experiences.

The artist has stated: “I’ve no problem in (sharing) emotional views or using sentiment. For me it is important. But I also don’t wish to just put it out there on the wall, as something to be stared at all the time and amongst other things. I didn’t want to trivialize (the issue).” In a broader context, Nilima Sheikh maintains that she doesn’t reject modernism as a mode of our work, sensibility etc. However, there are some things one needs to find a way around, as she explains.

“Modernism does allow some freedoms, albeit it has certain closures. And I feel my job (as an artist) is to work around them - open up, open up & open up. In modernism, illustration is a bad word; so is sentiment and maybe even narrative. You open them up. So in a sense, that is the constant effort.

“Also with history, and certain stereotype in artistic expression: of for example, a lovely tree with a moon hidden behind it. That would appear one of a worst order to depict something romantic, but therein lies the challenge as one needs to ‘uncorrupt’ it so form has been a significant aspect of my artistic struggle, in a way, to say something. The choice is part of the whole context and content. One must be striving to constantly change them; they are not necessarily fixed things, and need to be reread and reactivated, she sums up.

No comments:

Post a Comment