I was a painter and fine-arts student for close to ten years after finishing high school in Chennai, India. My terminal degree is a post-graduate diploma in fine arts, with specialization in painting.
Soon after however, my acute sensitivity to the deeply challenging political, social and economic issues facing India took me to more than a decade of full time social activism on sustainable development, first among the slum-women of Chennai and then with the internationally respected Magsaysay Award and Templeton Prize winner Baba Amte in the rural areas of Central India. When I eventually returned to the world of art, I realized that the intervening years had changed my relationship to art. While as an art student at Chennai, abstraction was my passion. Now, living in Mumbai, I found myself searching for a way to combine my passion for art with my commitment to examining the human-nature interface.
I believe strongly in the virtue of painterly quality, especially the elaboration of color. A word is in order here about my painting technique. I build the work organically through layers and layers of color application. Tones are achieved through sensitive mixing of colors and an awareness of how the underlying tones of the earlier layers of paint respond to the application of the latest layer. Often this has led to thrilling discoveries of fresh and unique microtones of color, resulting in the supra-dense employment of shaded dots of varying tonalities and hues. The subtlety of tints and shades juxtaposed with pristine whites translates also as light, making the composition come alive.
In retrospect, I think the lockdown was most serendipitous. I returned to the bare basics of painting. Brush, paper, watercolor, acrylic. With no agenda or theme in mind. I let myself free and discovered a vital facet to my art.
I departed from meticulous analytical pointillist technique, through division of color and tones, to be absolutely free with watercolor technique as well as in the acrylic medium, rendered on paper. From themes based on nature such as forests, mangroves and underwater, I painted in a landscape of pure imagination. Forms and colors internalized over decades of work poured out in a free dance of brush strokes, with various colors, textures, tints, and tones.
1984-1985 P. G D.F.A. College of Arts & Crafts University of Madras, India
1979-1984 D.F.A College of Arts & Crafts University of Madras, India
1976-1979 B.F.A. from Stella Maris College University of Madras, India