The Art Gallery in Ahmedabad for Artists and Art Lovers

Bubbles and Scribbles

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Bubbles and Scribbles
22 March,2011 - 28 March,2011
Curated By: Khanjan Dalal
Shefali Nayan
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She is daring, when it comes to using colour on canvas. She makes it move, flow, encircle, liberate, as she allows it to become transparent like water or heavy like stone and slowly her forms start emerging from one area of colour to the other. This is how one can describe Shefali Nayan’s paintings, as in all her work, her colours move with an energetic movement, often stopping to take shape and always connecting or reconnecting with the other form, as her strong lines define the subjects of her choice, like her painting - Pink Bliss and Mickey-ni-Minnie. Both are different; yet bond together with a certain amount of pleasure. If the doll-like, princess of the house, sits immersed in pink dreams, Minnie the cat curls up over her bowl of milk, assuming she is the Tiger of her territory.

These are just examples of Shefali’s method of retaining a playful quality of lighthearted humour in her paintings and one cannot help but remember that it takes a lifetime to paint like a child. And, this is, Shefali’s strength, as she has the capacity to look at her forms with child-like curiosity, yet express herself with a certain maturity, which can be seen in her paintings titled - When The Cow Did Not Fly Over The Moon and Hide ‘N Seek. The cow sits with her back to the viewer and even as she turns her head, to look at you, smiling, as you watch her sitting in a charming colour scheme of whites, grays, yellows, greens, browns and blue-blacks, through which her red horns emerge with a certain menace, as Shefali says, “My paintings happen with my urge to express and celebrate the simple but wondrous moments of life.”

Keeping this mood in mind, her triptych - Hide ‘N’ Seek - is a sublime multi-coloured painting composed with the horizontal and vertical movements of aquatic creatures painted with a controlled division of spaces in blues, yellows, greens, purples, oranges and pinks, which invite you to flow along with the current, in the company of a red sea-horse.

In almost the same context - The Crown of Trees and Alice in Flowerland, Shefali creates a green world, against the shadowy silhouettes of a distant city, where Alice sits, alone, in a luxuriant valley of flowers. In contrast to this illusionary paradise, Shefali can also create an element of the dark inner life of human beings, as seen in –Last Day-Last Show, where an aging actor appears to bid farewell under the falling curtains. Also, the painting titled - Black and White – A Silent Film, demands close scrutiny of the black king standing besides his white queen with red horns, as a white butterfly chooses to rest on the king’s shoulder and a family of black ants make a beeline for his queen. This entire series of paintings leads you towards Shefali’s Robots, where she creates a lyrical but mechanical world of machines with strong black lines and the energetic flow of her machine people, seem to say, “we also have feelings…”

While looking at this particular painting, along with her installation – Café Ying-Yang - you can see that Shefali is at the crossroads and about to embark on quite another creative journey of her own.
– Esther David
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