What happened to the broader roads that have given space to the Metro Rail system? And, wasn’t that just another suburb till a huge skyscraper made it a landmark? All these transformations — the changing skyline and more importantly the landscape of Chennai — piqued the curiosity of artist Afshana Sharmeen.
Her solo show Visual Sensibilities (Metro), which is being presented by the Chandra Ilango Visual Art Foundation, is her deliberation of the change the city has seen. From the crowded markets of Koyambedu to the Chennai Airport, Afshana has narrated the gradual modernisation in the backdrop of the new mode of transport. Talking to CE, on the sidelines of the inauguration of her show at Vinnyasa Premier Art Galery on Thursday, she says that she chose the contemporary subject for its relevance. “For an artist, it is essential to be in the current space and time. It all began with an observation that I made while travelling. It ended up being the theme for my first solo show,” she says.
Travelling across the city to watch the growing metro rail route, Afshana has presented paintings in acrylic, water colours and pen on paper. Her canvases have absorbed the city in all its forms — from the rain washed evenings to the mild drizzle — Afshana has placed metro rail as the centre, while its relation to the city stands out in the vivid imagery, bringing about a lyrical emotion. Her works are in black, white and lurid colours, reflecting the urbanisation and the sudden spurt of changes that the metro has rung in. However, the highlight is the use of lines, “When I started out with the series a year ago, my works took a realistic shape. I introduced lines consciously to bring about an abstract effect.I learnt from Ilango sir that lines have an energy and can be used in a creative way,” she adds.
With a degree in Bio Tech from Anna University, Afshana is, however, determined to continue her journey in the world of art. She says,“I had initially taken a break to pursue my degree in Engineering. But now I am here to paint and that’s what I see myself doing forever,” he says.
Visual Sensibilities (Metro)’ is on at 21/11, 1st Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore till July 30.