Anindita Bhattacharya

The experience of my immediate environment, both tangible and intangible, the cities I have lived in and the act of negotiating these spaces, are woven into my work. The lines between what is personal and political blur. Personal space has been subverted by the political; my art cannot but embody it. While the aesthetic trope of the vocabulary allures and encourages the viewers to travel through thousands of year of art history across various cultures and traditions; the content is often paradoxical. These narratives are expressed in multiple layers in my paintings allowing me to compare various experiences from different time frames, working on many levels of partial revelation; and knowledge trying to capture something reminiscent of the past; but in a manner that isn’t attempting to reproduce it.

Ornamentation and creating patterns are an integral part of my work, serving as a means to camouflage the images. Ornamentation is universal across cultures while patterns can create bridges between time, tradition and cultures, therefore forming a universal, global language. Transcending their traditional purpose, ornamentation is no longer benign but conflicting in more than one respect. Though they appear harmonious, on a closer glance one might observe that they are layered and infused with imagery of subtle violence and chaos. The margin, an integral part of the many illuminated manuscript art traditions, moves away from the periphery and becomes the central image in my work. Over the years my engagement with detailed motifs and patterns coalesced with the search for an identity that was syncretic as a response to the political mobilization and monolithic culture constructs about the idea of a nation.

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