Chandana Kankaria’s semi-abstract works reflect her engagement with the natural world
After a relaxing morning, I meander over to Ayya Art Gallery, a small art showroom and home to paintings by various artists. However, I am interested in one set of paintings — those by Chandana Kankaria. A Fine Arts graduate from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and an artist for the last 15 years, Chandana’s paintings are a reflection of her many life experiences and environment.
“The inspiration is from figures and experiences that we go through in day-to-day life,” she says. “I am inspired by Nature and the state that we get into — such as solitude, happiness, etc. — due to our environment.” The paintings remind me of a warm summer’s day, the soft lines blending to create warmth and comfort. Nothing is stringent or rigid; quite the opposite, actually.
“Semi-abstract,” she calls it, and looking at each piece of artwork, I can’t help but agree. A simple city skyline is given a slightly whimsical twist by blending it with the horizon, the peak vaguely off-centre, the surrounding buildings fading into the distance...
In another work, the glistening droplets on the surface of a pond momentarily draw your attention away from the lush lily pad floating by. It’s an appealing collection, the only drawback being its presentation — placed in a dimly lit office-style room.
For Chandana, though, the paintings are more than mere aesthetics. For her, artwork is a sort of meditation, her period of philosophical and perhaps even spiritual introspection, her escape from the toil of life.
When asked why in some pieces, the figures were quite small in size compared to the natural backdrop, she tells us, “We ourselves are so tiny in comparison to Nature. In fact, through my paintings, I want to ask people one question: ‘Are we what we think we are or are we something else? Who are we?’”
(The solo art show is on till June 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ayya Art Gallery, First Floor, No. 33, Woods Road, opp Express Avenue)