Shri Tushar Purani, Director (Retd.) C.N. Vidyavihar Group of Institution inaugurated ‘Expression’ an exhibition of Mona Bhavsar’s work on the 12th of April.
The exhibition is being displayed at Amdavad Ni Gufa till the 17th of April and is open from 4 pm to 8 pm. Shri Kanubhai Jani, scholarly folklorist was the Guest of Honour at the inauguration.
Ms. Bhavsar was born in Mumbai and has studied Commerce, she has no formal education in art, but it was a subject which she was always passionate about and wanted to pursue. Thus around the age of 40 when most people are settled in life, she decided to pursue her passion and dedicate herself to art. And she has been actively pursuing it for the past 20 years.
She had always possessed skill and enthusiasm for art, this could be said to be genetic as her mother, daughters and even granddaughters are good artists. We can say that it runs in the family!
She started studying art with her daughters’ art teacher Ms. Sharda Patel and her journey began. Ms Patel can be said to be her friend, guide and philosopher. Though Ms. Patel no longer teaches today she still collaborates with Ms. Bhavsar.
Ms.Bhavsar started by sketching and then further started working on oil paintings, watercolours and even works with natural dyes. Ms. Bhavsar works 3-4 hours in her studio every day. It is rather commendable as at this age people start slowing down but she is raring to go.
She studied natural dye with Shri Rafique at the Gujarat State Lalit Kala Academy and at a Natural Dyes Camp at the Kanoria Centre for the Arts. Natural dyes and watercolours are her favourite mediums. Although natural dyes is a very lengthy process and one has to spend hours on it. Currently, she is more focused on watercolours but may produce some works with natural dyes as well.
The current exhibition has approximately 70 of her works on display. All of them are watercolour on paper. The works are not very large and are mostly around 1ft by 1ft in size. But the skill and intricacy visible in them is amazing.
In her work nature is her biggest inspiration; she adores nature and everything which is a part of it. This can be seen reflected in her art as well. During her travels, she would often go to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. On these occasions she couldn’t sketch, this would leave her disappointed. To counter this she learned photography and would click the subjects that inspired her and paint from the photographs on her return.
She has also been inspired by Pithora Art, a traditional art from Gujarat’s Chhota Udepur and from interiors of Madhya Pradesh. She had read on the art and had also seen a Pithora artist at work at Vishalla. This art form appealed to her. Its rural simplicity and organic nature clicked with her and encouraged her to create artwork inspired by the Pithora artform.
The works in the exhibition can itself be broadly classified into two sections; one is nature inspired and mostly includes flower studies and the other is inspired by the Pithora paintings of Rajasthan. The exhibition is open for everyone and the exhibits are also available for sale to collectors.
Both the nature studies of flowers and the Pithora inspired artworks are lovely. The shading and variations of colours visible in the flower studies are exquisite. The Pithora inspired work bring to mind the simplicity of rural life.
In the past she has had solo shows at A.P.I.E.D Vallabh, Vidyanagar; Ananya Art Gallery, Ahmedabad and Lalit Kala Art Gallery, Ahmedabad. She has also exhibited her work at Jakarta, Indonesia.
She has a great deal of support from her husband, children, family, elders and her gurus. They provide her with inspiration and help and she is thankful for all the support she gets.
We hope that the exhibition is a resounding success and we get to see more of Ms. Bhavsar’s work in the future.
Photographs: Niraj Patel
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