Artist Seema Pandey is fascinated by duality, by the ubiquitous presence of contradictions around, by the ambivalence within oneself, and within Nature. And this is what reflects in her artworks. Her ongoing show at Triveni Gallery, New Delhi, Where the Sky is Pink and Clouds are Green shows these dualities she experiences.
An artist, art educationist, and art critic, Pandey has been creating art for the last 16 years. “Ever since I started painting, it has been like documenting incidences and memories. Earlier, I used to be the central character of my paintings. My works were like self-portraits and personal though never private. I still am the centre of my paintings but instead of recording or documenting memories my works now document my state of mind,” she says. Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us a little about your ongoing show. Why this unusual title?
Where the Sky is Pink and Clouds are Green is the collection of my very recent artworks – the works that I have done this year. This whole series is done in mixed media – gouache, acrylic, and charcoal.
I am fascinated by Nature, both seen and imaginary. The one that is beyond my surroundings or beyond what is seen. Human behaviour and humans too I believe are a part of Nature. It is interesting how we have divided Nature or the one created by God and man made and put ourselves at par with the creator of Nature.
I picked this title from a write-up that my 10 years old son wrote about my art practice. There’s a little story behind it. I was painting and asked him if he should do his holiday homework. He said he has already finished it. I was engrossed in my painting and told him okay you write your thoughts about my art works and he wrote: Amma just does these colourful scribbles in a manner that makes the painting look beautiful. She makes it in a way that different people see different things. It really talks to your imaginative side. What I like is that Amma doesn’t create a normal world. She creates her own. The world where the sky is pink, and clouds are green. There is red grass. And people are powerful in her paintings, like they can make flowers bloom in cold winters. So the title comes from there.
You will see a lot of contradictions in my works. I start my work with a splash of black on white canvas and create layers after layers, some part revealing some hidden. Initially, it is an action-posed process soon becomes action-filled session. I sit with my work and create minute patterns and detailing. Both the processes are meditative and engrossing.
What explains your interest in duality?
I am interested in duality as it exists everywhere around us and in us. It would be a lie if I say it doesn’t exist in me. This duality always makes an interesting subject sometimes complimenting and other times contradicting each other.
How many paintings are there on the show, and how much time did you take to make these?
All 42 works displayed in the gallery are selections of works done in 2022. This is my third solo at Triveni Gallery. My last solo exhibition was in Frankfurt, Germany in 2019. After that our show that myself and Jitendra Padam Jain had planned together in Bulgaria got cancelled due to a pandemic.
First physical show after pandemic… How does it feel?
It is great to be back in the Gallery after three years. I really enjoy this whole process of putting up a show and being at the gallery, seeing people interact with my works. Viewers and artworks make a wonderful sight. I get to see and hear many different perspectives about my own works.
Where the Sky is Pink and Clouds are Green is curated by Jitendra Padam Jain and I couldn’t have asked for a better collaboration. He is totally involved with the artist during this whole process of putting up a show. His energy and passion for his work is something I admire a lot. Because of his education in the art field he understands artists extremely well. Along with understanding of art and artists, he understands the business of art, which is the best combination in a curator any artist could ask for.
The show is on till July 20, 11am to 7pm