The Stillness of Life and Nature's Voice: Seasonal Changes Captured through Botanical Art
Nature has always been a popular subject in art. A beautiful fusion of art and science, botanical art has an important role in documenting and identifying plants. In contemporary times we have seen this scientific art evolve into an independent theme ranging from lavish bouquets, stylized floral motifs, meticulous representations – the range of possibilities is immense.
The Stillness of Life and Nature’s Voice celebrates nature and art inspired by nature. A first of its kind in India, this exhibition includes an array of richly illustrated paintings on canvas and paper by Ritu Kamath who follows in this rich artistic tradition and forge the way ahead.
A multidisciplinary artist, Ritu Kamath is known for her multi-layered and intricately detailed works. Her works are a manifestation of her desires that she expresses on the canvas by reinterpreting various thoughts that run through her mind daily. It is an assemblage of triggers, tasks, thoughts, dreams, symbols, and interpretations that constantly titillate her mind. She relies on drawings with inks and acrylics on paper and canvas interpret or translate her thoughts. In these works, art, nature and science become one. The artworks depict a wide variety of plants - common and rare; native to India and exotic; growing wild and carefully cultivated. In these meticulously detailed painted plants, leaves and flowers Kamath has magnified and zoomed in to draw attention to its subtleties of colour and venation. There are not just flowers in full bloom, but there are withering leaves starting to disintegrate drawn with almost microscopic vividity. The depiction of various stages of plant life adds to the drama of the whole series and creates interesting textures and colours.
The backgrounds, motivations, and methods of the artworks exhibited are diverse, yet all are connected by a shared desire to observe, record, and advance our knowledge of the natural world. Kamath’s illustrations include examples of every kind, from the sumptuous chrysanthemums to the blooms of dahlias and sunflowers, which are as elegant as they are botanically accurate. Working with ink and acrylic to create a translucent effect, the artist shows us the miraculous power of mother nature. As humans retreated and confined to their homes and machines shut, nature went on a path of self-healing. Birds were chirping again, plants were growing wild, and animals were reclaiming their lost territory. These sublime works paintings are from her recent series of works titled "The Forgiving Mother".
Executed each multilayered impactful work that projects its subject in sublime workmanship, Ritu Kamath’s art bounces and flows beyond their frames. Her art is about making sense of her environment and adding fantastical elements which give her artworks an edge of its own. The exhibition is an attempt to introduce artworks like these that force us to look again at plants – at nature, which we often don't pay much attention to and take for granted.