Smita Jain’s solo exhibition ‘Past and Beyond’ is an integration of her travel memories and architectural delights of the past and the present

With the help of architectural abstractions, textile designer-turned artist Smita Jain showcases her memories of buildings from the past and the possibilities for the future. 

May 03, 2023 02:56 pm | Updated 04:40 pm IST - New Delhi

Smita Jain’s Sapphire City

Smita Jain’s Sapphire City

Smita Jain’s exhibition Past and Beyond, is about the core values, essence and the spirit behind famous and little known buildings and locations she has visited over the years. These include her ancestral home in Ara, Bihar, the ethereal residences of Ladakh and Kashmir, the rustic palaces in Rajasthan, the temples in the holy city of Benaras, and few landmarks of Europe.

Smita’s inspiration to become an artist came from her grandfather, who spent his time painting watercolours. Her interest was accentuated by her travels. .

Every trip, she says, helped her develop her technique, in which the landscapes or cities she paints convey both the architecture and the atmosphere of the place. While there are no human or animal figures in the compositions, the vibrant colours reflect the life and vivacity of the surroundings. “The rich external details of buildings fascinate me and I look at them as a window into the lives of those who lived or live there,” she says.

Cascade - Box Art by Smita Jain

Cascade - Box Art by Smita Jain

She uses printing blocks, stencils, and spatula impasto to create textures and motifs. “As a traveller, I see art all around me; it seeps into my mind and returns as imagery that I transfer on the canvas when I paint. My art is a combination of my lived experiences and my memories coming alive. They are very personal; but I often find different viewers connecting to them as well. It tells me how honest my work is,” she says.  

 (At Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre; May 4 to 8; 10 am to 8 pm)

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