October 3, 2012 3:37:22 am
US-based,city-born,artist Sundhya Shroff is a techie turned artist who uses her bare hands to express her deepest emotions on canvas
A quick glance at her impressive resume is enough to know about the multiple hats that artist Sundhya Shroff dons with ease. A graduate from the College of Engineering Pune,37-year-old Shroff,who is currently settled in New York,recently held her first exhibition at the prestigious Agora Art Gallery,Chelsea,NY last month. Describing her works as an extension of her emotions,feelings and thoughts she says,It was surreal to be surrounded by a sea of diverse people,all of whom were interested in understanding my motivations,my inspirations. The most amazing part was making connections with complete strangers over the common language of colour that transcended all cultural and language barriers.
Shroff however is not an artist by profession but choice. Post her masters from the Iowa University she worked with Intel to develop the first 64-bit microprocessor. Art came to her only a few years back when she seriously began to consider painting. Interestingly Shroff uses her bare hands to paint directly on the canvas. She says that she began like everyone else- first scribbling with pencils and brushes before she started working on people,flowers,buildings,mountains and everything else that she observed. I noticed that as I grew less and less inhibited and let go of the fears and pressures that came from years of social conditioning,I became more open to looking beyond what I saw with my eyes. My art also followed this evolution. I removed layers of conventional expectations and formalities built into my personal life and found the need to remove conventional layers distancing me from my art, she says.
Her first solo exhibition was held in Palo Alto in December 2011,which involved two months of extensive planning,taking concept photographs of her paintings,designing and printing her portfolio as well as invitation cards to guests,physically transporting her large work and coming up with creative ways of hanging and displaying the work,but it paid off pretty well. While I was going through the guests book,I saw a comment by one of the visitors that said that my work reminded them of a song titled ‘Bright Moments’ by a blind jazz artist Roland Kirk,who always asked his audience to think of bright moments before he performed, she says,adding,I hope my art helps me make the kind of connections with my audience that help us together acknowledge rich questions questions that make us wonder,reflect and coax us towards a deeper understanding of the universe and our place in it.
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Shroff says she treats painting as any other daily chore or ritual and is fairly addicted to it too. The vibrancy of my thoughts reflect in my paintings. That is why they are so colourful. But black and white are colours too and I already use them quite routinely in my work. One particular piece of work titled Birches is an exploration of how nothing in life is really black and white,right or wrong,and that if we could only remain open to this concept,we would be more empathetic and compassionate as human beings, she says.
Shroff will be hosting a three-day exhibition of her paintings at the Prince of Wales Museum,Mumbai,from October 4,which will include live painting sessions and auctions of her work.
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