With minimalism as her approach to creating art, Manisha Gawade prefers working with just 2-3 colours, evident in her latest show, titled Magnetic Abstractions. "I feel the brain must be given such challenges time and again, as this works well both for the artist and viewer. It is very difficult to say a lot by actually saying very little like artist Sohan Qadri. He has used this style very effectively to express spirituality. I consider him as a very important milestone in the Indian context for minimalism," she says.
The ongoing show displays Gawade’s experiences as a traveler, with her minimalistic depictions of Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai, Mysore, Udaipur and Banaras. The artist reveals that she has especially put in effort depicting the landscape of Banaras in Impressionistic style.
She says, "I recently visited Banaras and I would surely say that after visiting the ghats, the city hits you. I could hear the aarti and the bells while watching the sunrise and the waters of the majestic Ganga turning golden. The city calls you. In the middle of the city’s mess, one experiences a certain amount of peace almost immediately after seeing the holy river."
Dubai and Delhi also feature in Gawade’s list of admired cities. “I have lived in and no matter what people say I would surely tell you that it can’t get more comfortable than living in either. Both are heavenly places and I love both dearly.”
Gawade, who has participated in 125 group shows across the world, calls herself a wanderer. “It is only when we travel, we understand that the world is actually a small place. The true distance between two people is a smile. A culture, nationality, language, religion and have no bearing on building a connection for a true traveller with locals,” adding, “I love to strike a conversation with people – be it a taxi driver, a grocer and so on. In fact, the person at the local grocery store is someone who can show you their city the way no one can.”
Her installation, The Rain Maker, an installation by her in particular, can be used as a wall décor at home. It is inspired by the African instrument rain-stick and its presence is believed to bring blessings.
The show also features a few furniture pieces which the artist meticulously worked on for five years to complete. She says, “I really like my furniture series called Keepsakes, as it was my endeavour to make art as usable as possible into any living space. With the series being displayed at the show it was a dream coming true.”
Her other installations include a set of mirrors, called Mirror Mirror on the Wall paired with a console called Lord of the Rings, both fashioned using gold and silver leaf. You and Me is a set of tall lounge chairs, with the upholstery being a digital recreation of an abstract painting by Gawade. Through this piece, the artist attempts to showcase human connections and bonds that bind, while also elucidating a sense of freedom.
Till: February 15
On: Art Magnum,6C/4, Indian Oil Complex, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Yusuf Sarai, New Delhi