I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

To cleanse from within

Dimple B Shah gives an expression to catharsis through Paintings, Installations and Sculptures

Dimple Shah with her paintings. Photo: Sangeetha Devi Dundoo, The Hindu.

The first installation that greets visitors at Kalakriti Art Gallery is a shower chamber, which Dimple B Shah calls the ‘Katharsis Chamber’. The curtains of the shower place bear psychological theories of Carl Rogers, the process of Calcination and the glass walls of the chamber are lined with rows of tiny bottles. Nothing is here for ornamentation of by accident, says the artist. The bottles are filled with shreds of hair, nails and ash. An recorded audio completes the picture providing the sound of water streaming in.

‘Kartharsis in Forbidden Zones’ is an exhibition of installations, paintings and sculptures that communicate Dimple’s ideas. It took her three and a half years to complete this series, she tells us. “The installations took time. Once I worked on the concept and made detailed sketches, I took help of carpenters and technicians who cut acrylic sheets, wooden and iron planks. I scouted junk shops and found a 100-year-old shop selling old bottles and sourced these for the installation. For another installation, I needed wheels of a cart and after much trial and error, I travelled to Baroda to find the kind of wheels I was looking for,” she says. 

Dimple’s paintings reflect her study of metals, their properties and their effect on our lives. While studying art in Glasgow, she researched on Jain philosophy and imagery. “I came across a book on metals, alchemy and equated what I read to the seven basic planets in astrology and the seven chakras described in yoga. I learnt about lead and it’s correlation to Saturn. I read that nail samples of criminals have an increased lead content in them. I also came to know that women have more traces of copper in them. It was fascinating as I dug deeper into metals and the way they affect us,” she explains. In one of her paintings, Dimple uses a chameleon to represent the changing state of mercury. A glass jar with a sample of the metal corresponding to her paintings and a page from her workbook, detailing her paintings and installation are there for the audience to correlate and introspect.

Dimple completes her work through a performance. She’s been supplementing her work with a performance since her college days in 2001. Her performance has no dialogues, doesn't fall strictly into the realms of theater though Dimple has studied theater. For an earlier exhibition titled Saffron Borders, she gave vent to people’s fear psychosis in the aftermath of the Godhra riots by encircling herself with a ring of fire and reacting to it. “This is the way I connect with people through a visual medium of Painting, Sculpture, Installation of expressing my thoughts by way of performance,” she says. 

What’s interesting is this artist did her bachelors in commerce before shifting gears to fine arts. “After B. Com I realized I was truly interested in arts and did a five-year bachelor course in visual arts, followed by masters in M.S University, Baroda and one year in Glasgow,” she smiles. As a parting shot, she admits installations don’t come cheap. “I am yet to sell any of  them. But I don’t think of returns when I work on an idea,” she says.

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo,
The Hindu, Hyderabad, March 8, 2013

"Kartharsis in Forbidden Zones" an exhibition of Paintings, Illustrations, Prints & Sculpture 
is on at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad till March 13.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

‘Katharsis in Forbidden Zones’ by Dimple B Shah


Paintings, Sculptures, Installation & Performance by DIMPLE B SHAH
(Part of Women’s March 2013)
Preview: Wednesday, 6th March at 6.30 pm
Venue: Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad


Alliance Française of Hyderabad and Kalakriti Art Gallery, in association with AGS Four Winds
and Pitars invites you to the opening of ‘Katharsis in Forbidden Zones’, a solo show by Dimple B

Purification and healing process in various mediums is the base in Dimple B Shah’s solo show
‘Katharsis in Forbidden Zones’. The idea is to bring the effect of these elements and by studying
them in various aspects like psychological, sociological, ecological and philosophical ways to
understand society and self. Her performances deal with social issues in a theatrical expression,
along with a video installation.

The works in this exhibition represent, epitomise and evoke various alchemical substances to
suggest a precise examination of their properties, the laboratory paraphernalia alluding to
different stages of purification and transformation, while a host of more or less ordinary objects
link the findings of the quasi-science and modern scholarship with the character of our reality,
human imperfections or impurities as well as hope and ideals. The large canvases deal with
the basic classical metals of alchemy in a manner that binds them with and lets them disclose
rudimentary qualities of the human disposition. The artist begins from a position of neutral
objectivity and in the centre of the paintings places a researcher’s table whose frontal position in
vanishing point perspective seems to display it clearly to the viewer. The table covered by white
cloth introduces the sense of an old-fashioned study but with a tinge of domestic interior. The
vessels for chemical experiments and a profusion of other objects demonstrate their nature and
connections at various planes. With the help of the titles one can grasp some of the content,
whereas, indeed, like in the obscure science of alchemy, the specific, often complex relationships
between motifs necessitate detailed elucidation. On longer scrutiny, the objects arranged so
as to indicate their condition begin to stir responding to one another. As one recalls the words
denoting energy, flow and spirit that recur in Dimple’s drawings, the items on the table top
which usually include devices that heat substances contained in glass retorts appear to enact
self-presentation and transformation, like performers explaining themselves to the attentive
audience. The sense of a nearly theatrical scene is enhanced by the large format of the paintings
that invite an immediate, static focus from the spectator. The precise, sparing realism of the
rendering here aims at lucid objectivity, and yet an imperceptive mood of enigmatic, fragile
transmutation emerges with the glossy translucence of the glass tubes, beaked containers,
smooth bowls and globes, etc. The atmosphere gains an eerie note spreading into the saturated,
murky backgrounds that conjure an endless landscape engulfing the sky merged with the ground
over an expanse of flatness and indistinct depth, its darkness not relieved by the tonalities of
ominous, muted radiance conjuring a somewhat surrealistic impact. The intuition of the real and
the subconscious blends then, as a home interior contrasts as well as blends with the external
space indicative of its cosmic dimensions, the artist considering her theme at the same time on
the micro and macro scale, at the personal and social or all-encompassing levels.

Extract from Ms. Marta Jakimowicz’s essay for Dimple B Shah’s solo show ‘Katharsis in a
forbidden zones’ at Gallery Sumukha in 2010.

About the Artist

Dimple B Shah obtained her Diploma in Painting from KEN School of Arts, Bangalore in 1998,
and Post Diploma in Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts MS University of Baroda in 2001.
In the year 2006 Dimple went to Glasgow Print studio to get further training in Printmaking,
Glasgow, UK. Dimple was awarded the First Gold Prix in 7th Engraving Biennale, Versailles,
France in 2009, and National award from Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh. She was also awarded
the Commonwealth Arts & Crafts Award, UK in 2005, and Junior Research Fellowship by
Department of Culture, Government of India during 2000-2002.

Dimple, in the very beginning of her art practice, went on to experiment on variety of
media. Her works comprises of Painting, Printmaking, Sculptures, Installations, Video and
Performance Art. Her recent performance include ‘RIP (Rest in Peace)’, Sethu Sundaram
Project, Bangalore; ‘Dual Paradox’, Rasa Art Gallery, Bangalore; ‘Milk, Melancholy and Me’,
Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore, and, ‘One in Hundred years’, NGMA, Mumbai.

Dimple’s solo works has been showcased at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore; Gallery III, Glasgow
Print Studio, Glasgow, Scotland; Central Park, Bangalore, and Gallery Akkruti, Bangalore. Apart
from these her works were featured in several group exhibitions, includes, ‘Cross Border
Constellations’, Theertha, IAC, Srilanka; 1st United Art Fair, New Delhi; National Awardees show,
Central Lalit Kala Academy, Bhubaneswar; 7th Engraving Biennale, Versailles, France; ‘Present
and Future, NGMA, Mumbai, to name a few.

On view until 13 March 2013, 11am -7pm

Opening on Wed, 6th March at 6.30pm till 13th March at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Open to all
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