Trained at the Sir J. School of Art, Vishaka Apte's oeuvre spans printmaking and painting. Until recently, Apte was working primarily with etchings, a practice that created an affinity for incorporating three-dimensionality or slight relief in the her work in other media as well. "I do not feel satisfied until I have made some surface scratches on the plate that I am working with", she states. The constant exposure to acid fumes used in etching was damaging her health, so Apte began exploring collography as an alternate medium.
A - a technique printmakers are introduced to early in their formal training, collography involves applying materials such as cardboard, cloth, sandpaper, bubblewrap, string, grass etc onto a rigid surface such as paperboard or wood. The relief created is then inked with a roller or paintbrush and an imprint of this printing plate is then taken on paper.
Apte has been using rice paper, handmade paper and texture white to build relief and texture to her work. Since collography doesn't withstand the ravages of time well, she has also been exploring ways of transferring the same quality to canvas works.
Thematically, Apte's work is contemplative, depicting the inner life of the urban dweller through mundane household objects. The human presence is a peripheral element in her work - a foot occasionally appears as a self-reference. For the most part, though, it is the objects - their condition, their relationship to each other and to the space depicted - that cumulatively present a narrative.