Recollections: Traveling Through Time

The Arena - Acrylic   48" x 33"
Beaming with joy - Acrylic   48" x 33"
Solitary Days - Acrylic   48" x 33"
Paradise - Acrylic   48" x 33"
Boundless - Acrylic   30" x 20"
Treasure Hunt - Acrylic   30" x 20"
Whispering Well - Acrylic   30" x 20"
Doodle Days - Acrylic   30" x 20"
Funambulism - Acrylic   30" x 20"
Petrichor- Acrylic   30" x 20"
Glide Along - Acrylic   24" x 30"
Gregarious Tree - Acrylic   24" x 30"
Glide Along - Acrylic   24" x 30"

Bangalore based artist Bharathi S. revisits her childhood through paintings that wistfully capture joie de vivre, of carefree days, gone by. The paintings in the new series, ‘Reminiscences’ evoke flashes of vivid memory, of youthful days and simpler times. The kaleidoscopic images depict a fervent memoire tinged with nostalgia and innocence, and of those past moments that were uncluttered and unencumbered from the urgency and stresses of urban life. The works are suggestive of the rich fragrance of imagination and the joy of untroubled days, where time was slower, and perhaps it even stood still, more so, in small towns and villages, where Bharathi grew up. She reminisces, how those were days, when living in the moment was natural, and it was customary to play, sit idly or simply watch the clouds as they wandered by. It is this hushed lack of stressors, and the chronicles of slow living, which emerge as a refreshing breath from Bharathi’s canvas.

Her works are akin to photographic film negatives, albeit in color, where masses and forms coalesce and blur, in effortless motion. The colors, as patches of pigments, take shape from a distance, and dissolve once again on approaching closer. This new series of works has moved significantly away from the conspicuously delineated geometric shapes and angular lines, which dominated her earlier canvasses, to create a more fluid and animated body of work. These paintings convey a far greater sense of motion, and play, and a surprising quietude amidst the shifting colors and lines.

Most of the larger paintings have figures of children either playing or watching adults complete household chores – there is an inherent exuberance and dynamism with a heightened sense of motion that is evident. A safe, secluded world is quietly tangible. These are snapshots of recollections that Bharathi carries with her, some in photographs that have survived over the years, and others from memory. She explains, “I take inspiration from every little thing around me. Watching my two young children play, takes me back to my childhood days. All those memories of playing with my childhood friends, cousins, siblings bring so much happiness to me. I try to revisit those memories through my paintings.”

Rendered in acrylic, her painting style adopts a narrative approach, a vantage point further evident in the larger works. These have a graphical quality to them, which is unsurprising given Bharathi’s decades of experience as a designer and 2D animator. An avid traveler, she has been fascinated by clouds – their patterns and how they shift form, disperse, and re-form at times to acquire newer shapes and outlines. Their temporal nature and their transitions, have impacted her perception, in her observations of life and events and their fleeting characteristics. This in turn has inspired the small format paintings, which rely on abstraction as a tool to convey the thematic subjects as they shift forms amidst the colors, and which reemphasize the subtleties of movement and transitions.

Bharathi is a Bangalore based artist, who discovered her passion for painting perchance, when she began sketching as part of her designing and animation career. She was born and brought up in Kumbakonam, a town in Tamil Nadu known for its Chola architecture and intricate temple murals, which she was exposed to from an early age. Keen to pursue art as a professional career, she formally trained at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bangalore.

‘Reminiscences’ nudges you gently to revisit your own childhood and relive moments of happiness and joy, or perhaps recreate that secure, protected space, which can anchor you amidst difficult times.