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With majority of abstract art having originated in the West, city-based artist Srishti Rana Menon feels that Indian audience has largely been "apprehensive" of the form of art. Menon's tryst with abstract art began five years ago, and a collection of paintings created while she was exploring the art form, was recently showcased at her first solo exhibition titled "Sublime Revelations". "As a child I loved to paint. But the real interest cropped up when I went to study at the Winchester School of Art in the UK. It was during my time there that I visited several galleries which highly influenced my practice of art. "Although we have pioneers like S H Raza and V S Gaitonde in abstract art, I always felt that the Indian audience has been apprehensive about abstract art," she says. In the exhibited collection, the artist used a "visual language of shape, form and colour" to express the meditative state of her mind. "The works have been inspired from my own meditative experiences. During the process of meditation you simply go where your mind takes you. "Sometimes there are positive outbursts whereas sometimes it is just depression. The notion of abstract art for me is similar.
Because there is no restriction in this medium, one can paint whatever one wants to," she says. Menon, who also draws inspiration from post-war American abstract expressionists like Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Mark Rothko, choses to focus on exploring artistic techniques, while using various media like oils, acrylics and watercolours. She says she has always been moved by the power of colour and therefore often leaves her coloured canvases at rest for days without any intervention to let the hues evolve naturally. "I have always been moved by the power of colour. My artistic process and experimentation with colour and technique is filtered through a meditative state which reflects in my work," says Menon. While she doesn't mind getting inspired but she says she always wanted to produce her own artistic stories rather than imitating someone else. For her, the medium is a way of discovering herself. "The entire philosophy behind the work was to discover myself. I believe whenever we are with ourselves questions of what is right and wrong come up," she says. The exhibition was held at India Habitat Center here.
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