Nine months of imagination
Artist Rajni Sahni uses prints and paintings to portray the journey of a woman’s life, says Debasrita Chakraborty
Sentiments are one of the most powerful human emotions contributing to the existence of life. A lot of imaginative visualisation revolves around sentiments. The portrayal of these on canvas through etching, linocut, viscosity, paper pulp and thread word and colour is the subject of the solo art exhibition Mimesis by artist Rajni Sahni. Mimesis is a philosophical term meaning representation of self or the act of expression. As Sahni says, “I want to represent myself. Whatever I have in my mind I want to express that through my paintings as I relate myself and my personal experiences to my work. Emotional state of mind is an essential factor for an artist while working as it gets reflected on the canvas and incorporates one’s feeling.”
Born in Kurukshetra, Haryana, Sahni did her Advance Diploma in Graphics from Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. She received National Cultural Scholarship in graphics in 2000. Sahni’s work depicts the unconditional love, care and affection of a mother and the tender nature of a woman. She incorporates a natural element that reflects the experience of a woman as she carries another life. The artist says, “A woman is essential to create and nurture life as well as contribute to the existence of life. She is just like the other essential elements – water, air and sunlight.”
The relationship between a mother and child is filled with compassion and kindness.Mimesis takes one through the nine-month journey of a mother and the child in her womb in a canvas. And the different experiences and mood swings she goes through. She says, “The nine months journey of pregnancy is very special for a woman.” With expression of some touching moments, which fascinates Sahni’s creative urge, she expresses her feelings with movement and force which are sometimes stable and flexible. Through her work titled The Journey, the body of a pregnant woman is cast in the shape of a boat. Welcome to the New World shows the birth of a child.
All her works uphold the power of woman to create life and the magical relationship between a child and a mother. Few of her works titled Honey Web (etching on paper), Love Bonding (etching on paper), I’ll Weave My Life..Myself (viscosity on paper), Woman From The Lap Of Woman (paper pulp and thread work on paper), In The Lap Of Nature (etching on paper), Saviours (etching on paper), Towards Life (oil on canvas), Towards Eternity (etching on paper), Towards Destiny (etching on paper), The Quintessential (mix media on board), showcase a woman’s body or a foetus growing in the protection, warmth and gentleness of the womb. These represent how a mother can go to any extent to protect her child from the world.
As most of the frames are abstract art, the artist explains, “The best thing about this form of art is different people interpret it with their varied perspectives. The understanding of the art piece changes from person to person. In such cases, the title of the work is very important. The title should be simple and should give a hint of the abstract features so that the person seeing it can relate the title to the work and its features”.
The artist defines art as a “passion and something to get away from the harsh reality into the world of imagination and originality.” She further adds, “Painting also holds an important place in communicating with the masses on a social issue. Through my work I also want to tell people to stop foetus discrimination and accept any gender with grace and love.”
Through the paintings, Sahni tries to read intense human ambitions. Her idea caters on rhythmic objects, flexible forms, relationships among them and their capacity to evoke a sense of delicacy and inner feelings.
To have an experience of the life of a woman though Sahni’s work, visit Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi till July 24.
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