Walking through Shan Re's works at her ten year retrospective, “The Unfolding of the Self,” is like a trip to the ancient temple that has not seen many people. Starting from her “Colourscapes” with “Window to Himalayas”, “Reverberations” and “Kashmiri Carpet”, the reverence and the deep silence are palpable.

“Colourscapes”, done between 2000 and 2002, are all vivid canvases with pools of colours in lines and squares, inspired by the Kulu mountains.

Then Shan shifts to “figuration” where “the works portray a surveillance of people and moments captured at random. It is elevated to an iconic status and remain timeless akin to memoirs,” writes art historian Dr. Pramila Lochan. True to her word, the figures in “Frosted Memory”, “Fisherwomen in Goa” and “Mother and Child” are bathed in an intuitive sea of colours.

Next in line are the “Free Association Drawings” which are a collection of lines and monochromes depicting a particular topic like “Krishna”, “Wheel of life” or “The Knight”. These are simple and understated and flow to form the subject.

Her ongoing series of mixed-media and acrylic geometric compositions of abstracts like “Window to Wonderland” or “In the wonderland” and “Echoes and Whispers”, follows the drawings. Her “Durga” here is a mixed-media composition with semi-circular owls. Some more of her geometric compositions like “Family” feature owls because they represent “strength and wisdom” for Shan.

This series includes a poignant Buddha in minimal colours in “Darkness to Light”. In between, the “Free Association Drawings” and the geometric compositions, “The Eternal Spring” series is like a fairyland of bliss with soothing pinks, lavenders, blues and greens finger-drawn to create tranquil pools of nature with flowers.

For Shan Re, it was about “beauty beyond the aches and pressures of thought.”

What is the thread that holds these various genres and platforms of art together? “My work is completely spontaneous. My creation is guided by flashes of intuition where my work, with its colours, just flows,” says Shan, who is a self-taught artist.

Of the underlying spirituality in her work, she says: “Life teaches many things. Once you experience life, you will gain wisdom. Life is all about balance and harmony. I get inspired only by my sub-conscious self. I don't get influenced by any other work.”

“The Unfolding of the Self”, is on at the Galerie De'Arts at Barton Centre, M.G. Road until September 15. Call 25591932 for more details.

Keywords: art exhibition