(Art Review :: Volume 9)
There is a boldness in this series that expresses an inherent quest for freedom and a need to experiment. This is evident in the artist’s use of mediums, choice of themes and visual representations. The harmonious balance between the three effectively presents an organic work that at once integrates as well as vibrantly highlights multiple layers of reality.
Chetana uses acrylic (on paper and canvas) because it is fast drying and ‘can be applied in thick opaque layers and also like transparent water colours’. She takes advantage of these properties of the medium by often using ‘thick opaque paints in bright colours’ and subtly including lighter washes to create contrasts. This gives her work a richness in tone and texture, adding to the drama of her compositions.
There is a marked influence of Madhubani art in her work. ‘For some years I was very impressed by this folk form,’ she says, ‘The bright colours, the decorative forms of flowers animals and all the natural objects used in those paintings really fascinated me. The way the human figures and animals are drawn freely, in a very simple way attracted me. Many of my paintings are influenced by that, specially the representation of the human face in profile that I have used and of course, the use of bright hues of red, orange and green.’
Apart from these distinct characteristics of her work, one needs to consider how she brings to her art the relationship between natural and human life, overtly or subtly. And beneath it all, there is the personal quest of the artist – ‘I feel that my art helps me to understand myself more…. It is also a way of liberating myself.‘