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Burst of colours: Vinita Karim’s solo show in Kalakriti Art Gallery has imaginary cityscapes and experiments with mineral pigments

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By Vinita Karim
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Vinita Karim’s art is a window to her fantasy world. The Dhaka-based Indian artist, currently displaying her works in a solo show, Timeless at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad, weaves stories of cities, offering a bird’s eye view of their imaginary landscapes. These cityscapes reflect Vinita’s love for colours. “I’m in love with colour; it brings so much joy and conveys a mood,” she explains.

From Kuwait, Sudan and Pakistan to Sweden and the Philippines, the artist has travelled across the world since her childhood. It is no wonder that travel informs her work. Describing herself as an artist akin to a sponge — absorbing Inspirations — she says, “Places stay in mind as little seeds and when they germinate, they emerge in one way or the other through mywork.”

Vinita Karim

Vinita Karim
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Yet, painting is also an act of spontaneity for her; shapes emerge in a dream-like world as she plays with colours and imagination, leading to abstract elements on her canvases. Although her works lean towards the abstract, their symmetry in the composition is impeccable.

Having done her master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Philippines, Vinita has been painting for 30 years now; this is her 26th solo show. She uses different materials such as gold and copper leaf, varnishes, linseed and turpentine oil to layer her works.

A section in her paintings has a touch of embroidery too. For instance, an acrylic canvas showcases a landscape with hints of houses, buildings, a pathway, foreground and background. In the centre is an aerial view of boat-like figures stationed at a port. These boats have been embroidered on the canvas and integrated seamlessly.

By Vinita Karim

By Vinita Karim
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Vinita, who works with Indian and Dhaka-based artisans, says instead of using fabric glue , the artists stitched the figures based on her sketches, and then stitched them on to the canvas.

Her new series is an experimental work made of mineral pigments, a combination of soils and minerals. The process involves pouring pigments and colours on the canvas, leading to various shapes such as the ocean and the waves rising up to the horizon. It is also a departure from her practice of painting canvases on an easel; as it involved pouring pigments on a canvas placed on the floor. “One never gets this grainy effect with multiple textures — owing to the pouring of pigments on the canvas — in acrylics,” she says.

By Vinita Karim

By Vinita Karim
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Fibreglass eggs and exhibits with found objects, and a discarded old juicer turned into an artistic wooden sculpture also feature in the collection. “My husband has been reading up on Hyderabad’s history; we hope to be back here again to explore every corner.”

Vinita Karim’s solo show Timeless is on at Kalakriti Art Gallery till January 5, 2023



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