Artist Shruti Goenka depicts spirituality through her paint and brush
Inspired by her visit to monasteries in Ladakh, ghats of Ganga at Varanasi, Kedarnath and temples of south India, Kanheri caves at Mumbai and other enchanting expeditions, artist Shruti Goenka has created a series of artworks based on spirituality, expressing thoughts about the supreme creator as also the mysteries of the universe.
These artworks – 24 in number – are what constitutes her show Antarman which begins tomorrow at Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
The five elements of creation, karma, faith, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, wisdom and the path of self-realisation take various forms in her artworks – Buddha is shown in his Vajradhara position, several forms of mindfulness and compassion are shown through the White Tara, Bodhisattva Warrior shows a heroic being with a brave mind and an ethical impulse while Nishtha represents a meditative figurine. Longing for truth & knowledge is depicted through Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya.
Similarly, gratitude towards the five life elements is presented by Panchtattva Aaradhana and a scene from evening aarti performed every day at the ghats of Kashi has been showcased in the artwork by the name Ganga aarti. The message of remaining in the state of eternal bliss and that the source of creation is within us has been shown in Aham Brahmasmi which depicts a monk in deep meditation.
The artist believes that in all the phases of life, karma is the only constant and she has presented this fact with four artworks, titled Karmanaye Vadhikaraste using human hands as a tool.
“Spirituality comes from within. I paint whatever catches my eye and impacts my inner being,” says this graduate from Miranda House, Delhi University.
A lot of time and labour has gone into each of these works, as she says, “It took me five years to come up with this collection. My works are realistic – studying my subject in detail and then putting it on canvas is a time-consuming process. One of my painting Bhodisattva warrior took me nine months to finish.”
“The meaning of spirituality is different to different people. For some it is an experience that creates a system of personal beliefs in a religion or God, for others it is just connecting with something bigger than yourself; it can even be service to humanity or connecting with nature, art, yoga, meditation etc,” says Shruti.
“For me, spiritual awakening comes through painting. Painting is like meditation to me while painting I feel connected to my soul which is completely liberated from any sets of rules and divine power seeking happiness beyond material possessions and other external rewards,” she adds.
Making art works with the element of spirituality has helped her grow immensely as a person. “It brings a sense of comfort and peace. It has brought a better sense of understanding about various subjects such as religion, faiths, believes and god,” she says.
A self-taught artist, Shruti learned art through a constant trial and error method, experimenting continuously. She began with started selling her artworks to friends and family, and slowly through word of mouth, began getting commissioned work.
It was at 19 that she put up her first solo show of paintings, and has never looked back ever since.
The show is on till November 30, at Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.