BENGALURU: Artist Pragya Jain believes that people should be open to new experiences every day, rather than sleepwalk through a routine. She says, “Sometimes we need to fight the demons in our own minds to overcome obsessions and fixations.” This is what she has tried to capture in her third solo exhibition ‘Wandering’, on display till December 5 at Sublime Gallery. An unforeseen event or an unexpected reaction from a person can take us off balance, she says, “(though) we don’t need certainties to be optimistic.”
Dancers and horses are her signature styles Figures of dancers and horses are seen often on her canvases, and her inspiration seems to draw from the intimate and personal. For ‘Wandering’, she has painted portraits of women, little girls and even lions. “The lion collection is inspired from my 4-year-old son Arhaan’s fascination with the animal,” she says.
Her other pieces including portraits of women are close to her heart. “One of the pieces is called ‘9 sisters’. I grew up in a house of nine sisters (in a joint family) and unintentionally the composition of the painting came to include nine sisters,” she says. This work was the first to sell in the show, and now she’s planning a whole series on it.
While a majority of the paintings is acrylic on canvas, a few pieces have been done with oil paint sticks along with acrylics. “For this series, I have painted multiple round canvases, having no corners for an artwork gave me a different perspective.”
She uses geometry extensively in her work, as this adds structure. “I then break the geometric patterns with silhouettes, and over that, I strategically add bold paint splashes or run a roller sometimes. The use of unconventional painting material excited me. I save random objects that normal people would usually discard and use them for textures and effect,” she explains.
Work with no fear of outcome
The collection has 21 artwork which she says she completed in a span of six months. She adds that she painted them for herself. “While starting on this series, I had decided to break down every barrier I have in my mind. I broke my rules, covered up a few old paintings, mixed jars of paint and splashed it on top of finished works.
It was a surreal experience to have no fear of what the outcome would be,” she says. Each work normally takes three to four weeks. “In order to meet my deadline I was working on multiple canvases at the same time,” she adds. Pragya was awarded by the President of India for her excellence in art, while she was in high school. Apart from painting, she enjoys pencil shading, and pen and ink on paper.