‘I look within the womb to discover that which is outside’

Artist Seema Kohli talks about her new work called The Golden Womb that is part of an exhibition titled Microcosm: Macrocosm.
The Golden Womb by artist Seema Kohli showcased at Artist Playground; artworks by other artists at the exhibition
The Golden Womb by artist Seema Kohli showcased at Artist Playground; artworks by other artists at the exhibition

The complexities of the human psyche aren’t unidimensional. The inside isn’t separate from the outside and vice versa, and so in such a case, whatever you see on the surface is, in fact, emblematic of an internal stimulus that the internal was influenced by the external in the first place. It is this knotty philosophy of existence that has kept artist Seema Kohli intertwined within its thought-provoking grip. Even in her new work that is part of an exhibition titled Microcosm: Macrocosm, she sticks to the pursuit of understanding and expanding from within its source.  

Seema Kohli
Seema Kohli

Playground by Pullman, in association with Nvya Art Gallerie and International Print Exchange Programme, has installed a set of artworks by national and international artists. Here, Kohli’s work is stationed on the first wall to the right of the main entrance. It’s called The Golden Womb. 
“I look within the womb to discover that which is outside. It’s the most powerful inside-outside metaphor. I want to awaken my senses to the beauty and grace of life — how nature blesses us with abundance, how the sun shines its magnificence every day, how the rain rejuvenates, and how heat and cold bring to life everything around us in their own special way,” says Kohli.  

She explores how the micro (the whom) and the macro (the universe) connect with one other in a ravelled state. In fact, the concept of Hiranyagarbha or ‘Golden womb’ in Sanskrit, which is the source of the creation of the universe, has been at her artistic core for decades now. “According to Hindu mythology, the universal self is the ultimate being as all bodies are an outer garb, which is neither male nor female, neither good or bad, nor gold or silver. If it takes any particular form, it is an illusion or the feminine aspect of this universal self,” says the artist, who believes that if all creation has emerged out of that universal womb then it has to have feminine qualities of procreation. In fact, her entire art practise is rooted in this reality and with every canvas, she explores different manifestations of Hiranyagarbha. Her artistic tapestry traverses a cosmic journey of this oneness of ‘being’ and its final liberation in relation to the golden womb. 

In this medium-sized work part of The Golden Womb series, you see a woman sitting inside a womb, who then journeys from the inside to the outside. The feet of the people drawn outside the womb depicts the concept of movement or evolution that every human being must take. For this work, she has used a printmaking technique called zinc plate etching — a process in which plates are etched in acid or engraved with designs using specialised tools. 

Contemplations such as these keep Kohli’s work intriguing and her imagination nourished with introspections. Microcosm: MacrocosmOn till May 17Pullman New Delhi Aerocity

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