Anything that is partially revealed holds an irresistible allure — be it a veil, a wide-brimmed hat or even something as unromantic as a pair of over-sized sunglasses. For artist Saurabh Sadanand Dingare, it is the nath or nose ring. In Stritva, his ongoing exhibition at Vasantha Art Gallery, the emphasis on this captivating ornament draws attention to the facial expressions of the subject.
Based out of Pune, Saurabh says he was always drawn to art, but as a career choice the path was carved out for him in childhood itself. “My mother was an art teacher and my father’s best friend was also into art. My parents wished that least one of us would choose art as a career and since I seemed most artistically inclined among my siblings, I was given the chance to pursue it.”
Saurabh adds the family came to this decision when he was still in class V and after he completed class XII, he pursued a Diploma in Art Education from J J School of Art in Mumbai; he also has a Masters in Creative Painting.
“This is a self-developed style of painting since antiques and traditional items fascinate me. My inspiration comes from whatever I sees that appeals to me and I try to capture that in my own style of painting.”
While his work mostly depicts women, the nath has been his muse for close to a decade now. “Huge nose pins have been the norm in my family along with other traditional adornments such as the nine-yard sari. And of course, at weddings and on special occasions, their grandeur is more pronounced.”
Though the nath is prominent in his work, Saurabh says, “It is the expressions of the eyes that speak volumes, that is why they are depicted in larger than usual proportions.”
True enough, big beautiful eyes lined with kajal draw your gaze, while the lower half of the face is overshadowed by elaborate nose pins. Patience, playfulness, longsuffering, coyness, dedication, concentration, content and a plethora of other emotions peek out of those windows to the soul, in this artist’s work.
According to Saurabh, the Stritva series captures feminine strength and energy, without whose influence no one would go too far. “We are nothing without the women in our lives and I believe each woman’s essence is unique. My work is an attempt to capture these various personas whether they are goddesses or the everyday women in our lives.”
Depicted in stances familiar to home and hearth, Saurabh says he finds his inspiration from those around him. While I don’t explicitly reveal who these figures are, viewers usually endow them with the traits or characteristics of a mother, sister, wife or daughter, he adds.
Executed with mixed media of water colours, acrylic and ink, the Stritva series comprises around 30 works which were created over the better part of a year.
Stritva by artist Saurabh Sadanand Dingare, will be on display till February 29 at Vasantha Art Gallery, Hotel Grand Mercure, Gopalan Signature Mall.