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Artists

Chandrima Bhattacharyya



VIEW WORKS

SHOWS WITH ART ALIVE GALLERY
Emerging India
 The Henry Moore Gallery Royal College of Art London
 29th August 2007 - 4th September 2007
 Art Alive Gallery



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Statement

I paint because thats what I would rather do, (apart from reading good fiction and listening to music) than anything else, unless its dreaming. Dreams and nostalgia are where I first rooted my paintings. I used to do drawings in ink when I began in 1989 to work (painting/drawing) in earnest. I soon found I revel in bringing out the textures, nay, the essential sensory feel of objects. Thenceforward I gradually changed from black & white ink drawings to drawings in coloured inks and then to water colours on paper to acrylic on canvas. My present body of works is in acrylic on canvas, but the method resembles that of my earliest work, i.e. drawing in ink on paper. Actually I weave my innermost passions and aspirations fears and sorrows, through sensuous lines and textures and surfaces into complicated compositions. I like to think they are inspired from the Persian and Mughal miniature paintings and my personal dreams that are mostly nightmares. Often reality and dream flow into one another and boundaries are blurred by realistic elements the starry sky, the checkered floor, a gliding snake, etc. Some elements like cats, snakes, exotic flowers, cacti, etc. seem to recur in most paintings and I suppose they define the underlying essence of my work, which is essentially the sense of wonder and mystery that pervades our otherwise ordinary lives. Cats appear very human to me, so they take on a sinister or wily or sometimes an iconic aspect in my paintings. For me they are essential feminine creatures, often silent, enigmatic and mysterious creatures of the night that invade into private spaces of the protagonists. Snakes too hold a fascination for me with their silent gliding movements their inherent sense of unknown threat to our well - being. They are the stuff of nightmares, ominous, yet so dazzlingly beautiful. My paintings are narrative, but not obviously so. The structure is abstract. The elements appear as though randomly put together; actually they are structured like dreams or even, life itself one thing following the other in no expected or planned pattern, like incidents in life or dreams often do. And I think that as a woman, my insecurities and fears too come through as the darker elements in my work. Perhaps the snake, the cat, the sinuous branches and leaves shaped like human hands, the night sky, etc. are the elements that haunt my dreams and paintings alike. The present body of my works are woven around my concept of the middle aged woman; i.e. the woman about to be toppled from the prime of her life. This woman is lonely; she is yearning for a second youth, hence the heightened awareness of her body, her dress verging on the ridiculous, and her strong beautiful face showing the first telltale signs of age. I see in her the co-existence of the pathetic and the triumphant, the insecure and the courageous. Shes the ordinary typical woman whos striving to have a life of her own apart from her family and binding responsibilities. Sometimes shes hiding behind a mask and at others shes trying to tart herself up in bold costumes. Shes the victim, shes the star and shes trying to break free.

Biography

Born in 1963. After graduating from Kala Bhavan,Viva Bharati University, Santiniketan, Chandrima participated in many prestigious exhibitions and workshops in India and abroad. She has held her solo shows at Kolkata in 2006 & 1993; Vadodara in 2004; New Delhi in 2001 & 1997. She is going to hold her forthcoming solo show at New York in 2008. She has also participated in 3 two person shows at Santiniketan, Kolkata& Mumbai. Besides this she participated in many group shows in India and abroad. She lives and works in Santiniketan.


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