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Sheetal Gattani
curatorial

On graduating from the JJ School of Art in Bombay, Sheetal Gattani became a teacher at Fort Convent, the school she studied in as a child. After 10 years of teaching, during which she continued her practice as an artist and completed a Masters degree, she decided to become a fulltime artist.

Appearing to throb with a certain emotional intensity, her works - whether watercolours, acrylics and oils - explore formlessness and colourless through subtle tonalities and texture. Text, another element that features in her work, is used as a form rather than for the meaning it conveys.

Restrained and minimalist, Gattani's works are earthy and roughly textured, built with several layers of pigment that compete in weight with the very paper they are applied to. The many layers of colour erupt, flake, tear, and bulge, giving the work an organic quality. Gattani argues that the material speaks of its own accord, "My work is not a representation of something. Rather, it is an expression of my emotions at the point the work was made. We all have a tendency to relate what we see before us, to something from memory. I do not want the viewer to carry a memory when seeing the work ... at least initially. Human impulse may kick in soon and build involuntary mental associations. Even while painting, at some point it is as though I am not consciously present in the work. The work speaks through its flow, and the space, light, colour, texture, everything becomes one. That is when I know I have something there."

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