Apart from being a creative outlet, art has also served as a coping mechanism for Ahmedabad-based textile artist Hansika Sharma (29). The National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar, graduate had been intrigued by art and textile designs from when she was a child. Taking inspiration from British artist Tracey Amin known for her confessional practice, and American abstract painter Agnes Martin, Sharma’s works “investigates the meditative state of being in the present”.
Her current exhibition—it was unveiled on February 9 and is on view on the Threshold Art Gallery website—is a collection of textile artworks created over five years. This mixed-media curation makes use of indigo to express her feelings of conflict through small-size artworks and large-scale tapestries created using different fabrics dyed in shades of the hue. “I feel like if I want to know someone well, I would want it to be me. When we grow up, we suddenly go through a constant unlearning and constant questioning of the world. My works are my way of making sense of these changes,” shares Sharma.
‘Saw Myself Staring at Myself in the Bluest Mirror’ is a collection of abstract hand-dyed canvases with threaded patterns of straight stitches that portray an intuitive and therapeutic reflection, thereby allowing her to let go of her anxieties. “I choose my medium and let my emotions flow on the fabric. The stitches are a language in themselves that I translate.”
Echoes in blue
Predominantly working with indigo, Sharma explains how it has, in time, become the “colour of [her] soul”. The versatility of the hue always fascinated her. “It is not just the fact that the colour can be used to portray a depressive dark energy as well as a soothing lighter energy. It is also the rich history that is attached to it.” Speaking about the Indigo revolt in Bengal, she says, “The rebellion that is associated with colour resonates with me as an artist.”
‘Ordered chaos isn’t overrated’, a piece in her mixed media series, focuses on reflecting the artist’s interpretation of these words through stitches on fabric. “When I see a fabric, I see a sort of language through stitches.”
As a series inspired by moments of self-reflection, almost every piece resonated with Sharma at different levels. However, her tapestry titled ‘Fragility was a concept’ has a special significance. “It is my way of breaking free from the stereotypical notion that women are supposed to be fragile beings. I have been told that I am fragile but people don’t know the things that I have been through. Similarly, the tapestry is a thin, soft cotton fabric; it looks fragile but can be stitched together into a strong piece,” says Sharma.
‘Melancholy river’, offers a conclusion to this exhibition. “The piece talks about a depressing loop that I have been in. In current times, I have realised everyone around me is in a similar loop,” she says. Taking that feeling into account, Sharma transforms her entire exhibition from an individual endeavour to a larger-than-life narrative of the modern-day human being.
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What: ‘Saw Myself Staring at Myself in the Bluest Mirror’, a virtual solo show by Hansika Sharma
When: Till March 9