Uma Gautam’s exhibition of paintings Ink and Honey are ethereal and mystic in their scope

Uma Gautam’s paintings have a deeply spiritual quality to them. They evoke a sense of calm and stillness. “My works are essentially mystic in nature. It’s a combination of the heart, mind and soul. It is about bringing yourself to a peaceful place. Many people have told me there is something about my paintings that touches the heart,” says Uma who has had solo exhibitions across Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Washington DC. Her works are also in the collections of corporations in India, US, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Australia and in the private collections of celebrities such as Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Salman Khan, Vani Ganapathy, among others.

Uma paints what she feels and often the “painting guides her.” The figures of Jesus, Buddha and Lord Shiva figure prominently in her works. “They feel real. I have been inspired by them. Jesus could forgive so much despite what he went through. I had once done a painting, Krishna in Linen. It had a blue-bodied Krishna in a linen shirt with a collar. There were no peacock feathers. You don’t need to lose the Krishna in you if you are a wearing a t-shirt. Many of the paintings are like that.”

“If art could be considered a window into the soul of the artist, then it’s clear from Uma Gautam’s works that her soul has a rich inner life. It is a space where rules are not broken for the sake of being broken, but rather to make way for new ones from another world—a world that is clearly visible for her to capture on canvas, and which may not be immediately perceivable to the human mind,” writes a patron of her works.

In one painting, there is a young woman, seated on a carpet, her hands outstretched in prayer. “She is nude not because I want to make the painting sensuous. It is to show that when you pray, you have to be a child, without a veil, without pretence. I am not trying to shock. She’s got a yogic figure. The expression on her face is not sensuous.” The media she has used for her works are oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas and oil on paper.

Uma is a self-taught artist. “I started painting since I was 10, I began writing at the same time too. I write three to four lines to describe my paintings.”

Uma Gautam’s exhibition of paintings Ink and Honey will be on display till May 25, from 10 am to 6 pm at Gallery G, 38, Maini Sadan, 7 Lavelle Cross Road. Call 22219275 for details.