Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fathoming practice of a truly 'global' artist from India

Long before she picks up a paintbrush, the emotions and moods behind her work gain a distinct form. The canvas tells a tale, which shapes organically rather than taking form as a planned composition. To the artist, the satisfaction of witnessing her thoughts getting visually translated into painting is a fulfilling experience....

This is how inspirations and the aspirations behind Angeli Sowani’s work can be encapsulated. Painting for her is a highly personal and meditative process of creation through which she distills and clarifies her feelings and reactions to the people as well as events around.

Born in 1959 in New Delhi to an English mother and Indian father, she was brought up in Agra. In hindsight she feels that this multicultural background and a peculiar family environment have played a significant formative role in her shaping as an artist. Interestingly, her recent series ‘Limits of Their Existence’ reflected her response to the people as well as situations impacting her day-to-day life, simultaneously centered around the symbolically complex Kalachakra Tantra.

Among her other selected solos are ‘Out of the Blue’, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai ‘Identity in Abstraction II’, King’s Road Gallery, London (2004); ‘Identity in Abstraction’, The Rotunda Gallery, Hong Kong (2002); ‘Figures in Abstraction’, Jehangir Gallery (2001); paintings at Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai (2000); ‘Faces and Figures’, The Rotunda, HK (2000), among others. Her significant group exhibitions include 'Anglo-Indian Express', Grosvenor Gallery, London; 'Think Small', Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi; 'Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art', Grosvenor Gallery, London (all in 2009).

Angeli Sowani’s work comments on the uncertainties of the creative process, pointing to different states of mind and peeping into the transition that takes place between these. She points out that her awareness and perspective of contemporary events in the recent years has largely been shaped by the media coverage.

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