5 June 2020 - 30 June 2020
Emami Art, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Born in 1950, Arunima Choudhury had received her Diploma in Fine Arts from Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, before taking up the job of music, art and design teacher at Patha Bhavan, Kolkata. In the art school, Arunima was trained as an academic painter under the guidance of the legendary artist Bikash Bhattacharya; she, however, found her true path when she first visited Santiniketan. The influential works of the Santiniketan artists and broad aesthetic vision of Rabindranath Tagore deeply inspired her; she was attracted to the new ideal of modern Indian art, rooted yet cosmopolitan, and the crucial roles of medium-specific crafts in modern art practices. She considers Shilpa Charcha, the unique manual of painting written by Nandalal Bose, an invaluable creation, and her own experiments with botanic dyes on handmade papers that she has been doing for the last fifteen years reveal the spirit similar to that of Nandalal.
The love of nature came early on for Arunima, but it was after her fateful encounter with the works of the Santiniketan artists that she gradually developed her aesthetic appreciation of nature. She, like the artists of Santiniketan, showed a profound love for landscape and natural beauty; their visions of nature are, however, often dissimilar. Nature for Arunima is not just a piece of geography but something personal, revealing a close bond between the human and natural worlds. It is often conceived as feminine and maternal, an embodiment of the qualities that a mother possesses. Nature, existing both within and outside us, is in constant motion; Arunima succeeds in capturing the layers of emotions and dynamism at the level of both image and medium. The naturally produced dyes with which she paints are not just a new medium for her, but a language that gives palpability and organic feeling to her paintings. Colour has a unique presence in Arunima’s organic paintings; it is not used simply to distinguish forms.
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