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Idyllic landscapes

Bhavna Sonawane's simplistic drawings brim with energy and reveal a joyous mood


DELVING INTO the joys of childhood for inspiration, the paintings by Bhavna Sonawane on show at the Apparao Galleries, recreate a world of pleasure and contentment. While the dream world that she creates does not allude directly to her own formative years, the artist affirms that some images are from her past and others are but dreams that have been visualised.

She revels in depicting immense spaces encompassing the vastness of both the earth and the sky. Krishna and Buddha are featured in the blissful landscapes, not as religious or holy figures but as symbolic of mischief and peace, respectively, attributes that defines a child's mind.

Bhavna delights in painting cheerful themes claiming that `happiness is fresh and bright coloured.' The straightforward child-like quality ensures that no complexity mars the cheerfully innocent reverie.

Her influences


Professing different influences such as Ragamala miniature paintings, the simplified forms of Amrita Sher-Gil, the colours of S. H. Raza and the candid expressions of Paul Klee, her works also embrace references to the feminine aspects of cloth embellishment such as patchwork and kantha embroidery.

Although developing on the characteristic strength, originality and charm of naοve painting, she works consciously with the elements of art, putting line and colour to good use. Dream-like landscapes, where the leaves and grass are evergreen and the water is cerulean blue, exist alongside wobbly high-rise apartment blocks. Basic forms serve the artist's end better than truth to anatomy. The simplistic drawings coupled with colours that are positively brimming with energy reveal a playful and joyous mood. Refreshingly illustrative of a child's world where toy trains run around merrily and vibrant kites fly gustily, the paintings have a charming character that depends heavily on design.

The exhibition forms part of `an endeavour to promote emerging talent' by the Apparao Galleries, and is on until September 24, at 7, Wallace Gardens, Third Street, Nungambakkam.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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