Bloom Where You are Planted
This is the theme of the art show ongoing till August 21, 2023 at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, curated and organised by an online art platform The Curators.art. What makes this art collection stand out is its overarching theme of botanicals and nature that brought five artists from across India, Bhaskar Rao Botcha from Hyderabad, Nidhi Jacob from Bangalore, Sandeep Jipdung from Assam, Shampa Sircar Das from Delhi, and Siddharth Shingade from Mumbai, to interpret Mother Nature in diverse explorations expressed in bursts of colour, varied techniques, and mediums.
On August 17, Jehangir Art Gallery’s Gallery space was bursting with energy from artists and students, each busy on their canvas or taking tips from artists interacting with them. The gallery space seemed to be thriving in positive spirts and greenery, in line with the theme of the ongoing exhibition, Bloom Where You are Planted. Organised by The Curators.art, this exhibition brought together five artists, Bhaskar Rao Botcha, Nidhi Jacob, Sandeep Jipdung, Shampa Sircar Das, and Siddarth Shingade, to interpret Mother Nature in their distinctive flair.
On this day, the curators organised an interactive day with the artists and art enthusiasts to understand and imbibe their creative methods. Present at the Gallery were Bhaskar Rao Botcha, Nidhi Jacob and Siddarth Shinga who mingled with the art enthusiasts giving them tips as they each explained their process of work.
While the artists have diverse explorations of the theme, botanicals and nature is the springboard for their creative impetus. Artist Nidhi and Sandeep showcase the ethereal beauty of flowering plants, mesmerising viewers with their strokes of green and range of florals, taking the viewers on a magical journey of verdant forests and bountiful gardens. Bhaskar and Shingade use the culturally significant tree (Vriksh) as their recurring muse, though both use different techniques and mediums to portray their muse. Shampa creates meditative works with elements of flora, fauna, and spirituality, taking the viewers into the spiritual meaning of Mother Nature and its soothing abilities.
The artists also address an urgent need to live more responsibly within the Earth’s finite resources. Bhaskar from Hyderabad says, “We are losing our heritage, every time I visit a city, I find new buildings coming up, losing greenery in the process. I have been using the Tree of Life as my muse for more than a decade, but I have been changing elements, flowers have been added on my canvas and now I am experimenting with architectural buildings, adding historic buildings on my canvas with the tree as the main element. I use layers of layers of colours and etchings to create different version of the same Tree of Life.”
Two cities that have always appreciated and lapped up art, according to Bhaskar, is Delhi and Mumbai and he is heartened to see the spirit of art -loving Mumbai which brings enthusiast to in large numbers to view his work.
Nidhi meanwhile is the star artist, whose seven works, of the nine that is exhibited, have already been picked up by art enthusiasts in just three days into the exhibition.
“I have always been painting since I was a child,” remembers Nidhi, giving us a glimpse into her art career, “I have been painting on walls too but I never shared my work with anyone. I then had a big change in my life, went through a divorce, met my present partner, Bhavana, who encouraged me to put my work out there. I started an Instagram account on her insistence, seven years ago and since then, there has been a huge recognition of the work I have always been doing. This helped me gain confidence and I just continued experimenting and painting more, enjoying myself immensely in the process.”
“When you open your energies for more, you receive more,” says this happy artist, whose canvas reflects her mood on the day she has worked on it, though it changes when she revisits it the next day but always within the colour palette, she has chosen for the work begun.
“I gained in confidence and my garden grew dense with flowers, greens, and colours. This canvas with the crowded flora was much appreciated and I think I will continue with this style for a few more years before I move on.”
The two ladies behind The Curators.art Sapna Kar and Rajneeta Kewalramani, art lovers and curators are bound by their passion to showcase promising talent and offering value buys to collectors.
“Over the last two decades, we have had the good fortune of spotting many upcoming talents and presenting them with their first platform. Be it their first solo catalogue or the first time their art was auctioned. There were artists who got an opportunity to showcase outside smaller Indian cities in urban settings. These are sought after artists today and doing incredibly well for themselves,” says Rajneeta quite proudly of the mission they have embarked on.
“What makes The Curators.art special is that we are the only online platform that diligently organises exhibitions in multiple cities, once, every six to eight weeks. We are a hybrid between an offline and an online presence,” says Sapna.
If you are in Mumbai, Jehangir Art Gallery and this green canvas of artworks is a must-visit.