Thursday, 10 March 2016 16:22

A Tale Of The WARP ‘N WEFT

Acquiring a beautiful art is one of the wise investment anyone can make today. Ritu Chopra's  solo exhibition WARP ‘N WEFT at The Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, Delhi on the 16th this month, curated by art critic Renu Rana is one of the 'must visit' in the city's cultural calendar if you are an art lover. Luxepointindia catches up with the artist as she gets ready to showcase her exhibition based on India's revered poet Kabir's verses.


What is your current exhibition all about?

Warp 'n Weft is the depiction of my journey to see outwards while going inwards. My paintings are based on Kabir Das’s poetry "Jhini Jhini Bini Chaderiya". In his poetry Kabir talks about how the mystic weaver has created the tapestry that we all wear on our souls. It took the mystic weaver 9-10 months to painstakingly weave with five elements and three qualities on the warp and weft of Ingla and Pingla using the precious thread of Shushumna to create us.

My paintings in this exhibition are abstract and semi abstract. They representnadis which are vast networks of energy channels, the nerves, the veins and the thread that has been spun from the essence of the soul.


Tell us about the significance of the colours that you use in your artwork. Which are the major colours you use and why?

My paintings have shades of earthly colours. But I love to use shades of yellows and blues with a bit of red. Interestingly these three colours are primary colours too. I feel I can balance the warm yellow and cold blue well. Yellow is a cheerful colour. It radiates happiness and uplifts the mood while generating positivity. For me it represents the warmth of the sun, energizing just like sunshine. Blue signifies calmness and tranquillity, almost like the sea or a blue patch of clear sky. I believe that turquoise blue has healing abilities. I also love to use lighter shade of Ultramarine blue.

Red is full of energy. It depicts love and action. When I want to depict a part of a painting which is of importance, I use red to highlight it depending on the subject.

The other colours that I have used often are green and orange. When you imagine someone to imagine the colour green, they're minds will linger to plants and I believe that's why I relate it with life. Orange, on the other hand, is for cheerfulness.


You have been doing figurative works, when and why did you think of shifting to the abstract form of art?

I began feeling too comfortable creating figurative paintings. My mind would only think in forms. To think abstract was an unimaginable and a difficult task. But for the last few years I had this churning of thoughts or as it is said in Hindi “manthan” was happening inside me leading to experiment with abstract forms. But how's and what's of creating abstract forms were daunting. In the beginning, my mind couldn’t think in an abstract manner and naturally I wasn't generating significant ideas.

 However, whilst reading this couplet from Kabir, I began thinking-

Hud hud har koi jaaye Anhud jaye na koye, hud aur anhud ke beech mei Kabira raha soye”

 For me my “ hud” (limit) was figurative work, But some where I wanted to break free and step out of my comfort zone to try and cross to over to the limitless (anhud).  And as the couplet goes, Kabira was between the limit and the limitless. So it was this couplet that inspired me to take the leap over from my limit over to the limitless. From here my journey in abstract art begins, creating Warp n Weft, based on Kabir’s poetry “ Jhini Jhini bini Chaderiya...”

What is the medium that you like to use?      

      Though I have used many mediums like water, charcoal, ink and acrylic, I must say that my favourite is oil. A major chunk of my work is in oil. It is a very friendly medium to paint in and it allows me to express well. The only drawback is the long wait for the painting to dry. In some of my paintings in the series Warp ‘n Weft, I have used acrylic and oil as a medium to paint with. I have also experimented for the first time with some texture medium.

 Spirals are a recurring feature in your works, can you explain its significance?

Spirals have always appealed to me but when I first made a painting with spirals I had no intentions of making one. It was just spontaneous. As I began experimenting more with spirals it just became natural. And in 2008 I created an entire series on spirals.

For me, spirals symbolize evolution, expansion, represent Goddess, the womb and the life force Energy. It helps me balance my energies when I imagine them with certain hues and arrangements. We as humans have the capability to first go inwards by meditation to seek outwards and I believe spirals also depict seeking of inward to outwards by balancing and calming the state of mind. I am sharing images of one of my favourite paintings from the spiral series which is now sold.

      How much does one have to spend to buy your artworks and where all are they displayed?

    I rate the cost of  paintings depending on the level of detail and size of frame. In this exhibition it will go up to 2 lakhs INR.  In India I have had the opportunity of displaying at galleries in Ujjain, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi amongst many others. Abroad I have had the fortune of displaying at Shrivenham in the United Kingdom and San Francisco.

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