NATURAL ELEMENTS THAT REFLECT A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE: INTERVIEW WITH DHARA MEHROTRA

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1.  Dhara, do tell us your thoughts on the current art scene in India ? 

The Indian art scene is quite versatile and free spirited. Everything that has a level of quality and seriousness can exist in the current art scene. At this point in time, there is a more stable market for modern than contemporary art in India. Perhaps it is just a matter of time; contemporary art also claims similar acceptance.
 

2.  Tell us a bit about your background. Are you from an artistic family ?

Very early on during my school life, I made a choice to follow art and never felt the need to reconsider the decision. I pursued a formal art education at the Delhi University (College of Art). I was the only one in the family to choose visual art.   


 

3.  What initially made you so fascinated by nature and the environment ?

A variety of elements concerning nature have always dominated my interest at various stages. From straight-forward nature photography to planting my own garden; presenting a dissertation during Masters at college on ‘personification of nature in ancient Indian and other mythologies’ to reading Steven Hawkins’ idea of us being equidistant from stars and atoms; Absorbing Wordsworth and Blake’s nature poetry to practicing communion with nature as a spiritual discipline. Hence it was clearly the strongest influence which was accumulated over the years and constituted the core of my work.

4.  What particular emotion do you want your viewers to feel on seeing your work? Are there any questions you want them to ask themselves ?

Perhaps I will prefer it not be distilled into a singular message. It is more of a moving vision trying to create a visceral dream–like experience for the viewer where they can contemplate the theme and subtext later.

" However my current work is focused on the idea of realizing the transcendent quality in simpler forms of life, nature, environment and its inherent ecology therefore I am also interested in emotions of wonder, awe, empathy and euphoria. "

 

5.  Which of your works is your personal favorite and why ? 

The wall installation ‘Memories’ in 2013 has been one of my most engaging installation projects over last few years. It further evolved into other iterations of it, while using the same prototype. It still continues to grow on me and unfold more possibilities that make me wonder and keep coming back to it.  

6.  Which artistic mediums are you yet to explore but have not yet ? 

" Light and Sound are particularly strong mediums with substantial potential for artistic vision. "

I am yet to explore that genre.

 

7.  What are some of the difficulties you have experienced throughout your artistic career ?  

‘Quest for perfection’, it is said perfection does not exist but the quest surely does. There is always so much more that can be done or undone to a work or a situation, hence the difficulty. ‘Time management’ can also be a challenge sometime.

8.  What does it take to become a successful and respected artists such as yourself in India today ?

" Success can be a very subjective interpretation for an artist.  It is a constant balance between seeking approval, commercial success, self satisfaction or art-historical significance. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and each one is by itself a measure of success. "

Having said that, being an artist is as competitive as it can be. Each trajectory or career graph is different. Focus and perseverance are quiet needed.

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