Neha Sharma Sarai's works have resulted from a deep dialogue with the self

What appears surreal to a viewer is very real to Neha Sharma Sarai. The artist lives in that world, experiences it, and only then paints it. The forms, patterns and shapes that we see in her ongoing show, “Knot Dot Knot”, the Belgium-based artist says, have come out from deep within and not just an external response to a development in the outer world.

The mesh structures, as in the work titled “Intersections” or the monochrome intricate work “Blue i”, might remind one instantly of the ancient craft of jali work or a batik print, but “it actually is an exploration of the other world,” as Neha describes it.

The works do have a dream-like quality, where sometimes we see shapes and forms that can't be identified. “But there certainly is a structure and logic to it and it may have references to the textile or craft traditions, but the work is very contemporary,” adds Neha, a product of M.S. University, Baroda, who has debuted in the Capital with this show.

She links the repetitiveness of lines or patterns that so often comes up in her paintings, namely “Earthlines” or “Dry leaves”, again with spirituality or, more specifically, with the act of chanting. “That's because painting is very sacred for me. There are no political elements at play here,” says Neha. But forms certainly are in her works, which are mostly rendered in natural pigments.

“That's how I have been working for the last three years, looking into the vocabulary of painting and creating various ways of representation. My search is for ways and forms that touch upon the basis — principles of life,” explains the artist, who is planning to have another show in the city again in August.

(The show “Knot Dot Knot” is on at Gallery Seven Art Limited, M Block, G.K.-II and closes this Saturday eveningtill today)