Ink flows to tell stories: Artist Marie Dias Arora

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) Who says leaves don’t have words or that roots and branches don’t speak? “Inner Terrains”, a solo exhibition of Marie Dias Arora has entangled roots and other elements speaking different tales.

The drawings, in ink and mixed media on paper, have been created over the last four years in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Delhi.

“The works come from my inner emotional space – so nature becomes the medium through which I express my emotions. They reflect subjects which are close to my heart,” Arora, who was born in 1946 into a family which traces its origins to Bardez in Goa and grew up in Bombay (now Mumbai), where she studied painting at the JJ School of Art (1963-64), told IANS of her work.

Arora’s square frames tell stories in a series: Blossom-1, 2, 3 depict different stages of the growth of flowers and plants; ditto with Birth-1, 2 for humans.

Her works are greatly inspired by the organic and evocative patters in nature – entangled roots and branches, sea, sand and cliffs. It was her love for nature that prompted her to dip her fine Japanese brush-pen into ink to create the works.

“When I usually start working with brush-pens, I start building an image inside me as well,” added Arora, who later moved to the Delhi College of Art, from where she graduated in 1968. She was awarded a French government scholarship to study etching under William Hayter and Krishna Reddy at the Atelier Seventeen (1969-72). She later returned to work in Paris at the Graphics Atelier of the Cite Internationale des Arts in 1983.

Thus, in “Cave” the textured quality reflects her hand in etching.

“My work is very free and I have played with the elements of the nature like child,” said Arora, whose works have been featured at the Lalit Kala National Exhibition of Art and received the AIFACS Award in 1978.

Most of the drawings are colourless but she has used colour in some as “it’s me having fun”.

The visual language expresses a balance between freedom and control. So the initial free and fluid brush strokes of the composition develop into a complex layered textural image.

Arora seeks inspiration for her drawings from her memories which completes the circle – from life to death. “Birth”, for instance, is drawn from the artist’s memory of her daughter becoming a mother about three years ago and her involvement inspired her to take to paper and ink and let it speak of her experience.

Then, “Memory 1957” and “Memory 1960” depict both the happy and sad part of her life. With the former, Arora has tried to take out her sorrow at losing someone when she was 11. The latter reflects the happy memories of her school days playing around waterfalls with her friends.

Some of Arora’s works speak several stories. An untitled work has the viewer seemingly gazing upwards at an expansive tree – a metaphor for the Earth and evoking a sense of completeness.

What next? Arora is still mulling the thought.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply