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The shape of pulp fiction

The shape of pulp fiction
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Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, which is said to be the seat of Indian abstract art with the continued presence and influence of artists like late J Swaminathan and SHRaza, Sanju Jain too has all the reasons to adopt a language which is apparently modernist and abstract.

A search for the unique and the unparalleled, certain creative expressions that open up an absolutely new world for the viewers, goads the artists who adopt modernist painterly techniques and work it out towards realizing the experiential singularities.

For Jain, a young artist based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, modernist art lingua is not an essential given but an unavoidable necessity without which her creative expressions would perhaps never find their absolute manifestations.

Jain uses a specialised abstract art language which she has perfected over a period of time through continuous and rigorous practice. After having her education in fine arts and also after a few years of apprenticeship with an established art teacher, she found out that her way of expressing her innate feelings and closely guarded emotions depended largely on her affinity towards abstract.

At times Jain says that she could not have created her art with any other medium or style and if she is forced to create art which is deliberately ‘political’ she would be even leaving the very idea of creating such art.

Her total negation to feminist politics and complete adherence to femininity have a lot to do with techniques with which she creates her works.

Born to a middle class family and four sisters to grow up with, Jain never felt the need to be fiercely independent because she had always been independent during her formative years. She was born in village and it was almost a sylvan milieu to grow up in, according to her.

She climbed trees, went to neighbors’ kitchens and ate, played with girls and boys without thinking much about gender disparities and studied in a residential school where she learnt religion and social morals. As she is from a Jain family certain religious rituals and culinary exclusivities were to be practiced in the daily life, which according to her she does even today with complete devotion.

As a young girl Jain never painted a scene nor drew a picture. It was in college for the first time she was introduced to fine arts. Doodling suddenly became a passion and materials an obsession. Abstract art was there in the air at Indore where she did her graduation but she was not particularly interested to do abstraction. Scribbling and doodling took her to qualities of various pictorial surfaces and finally she found out her favorite medium; paper pulp, oil and acrylic paints.

Jain calls paper pulp ‘atta’; the dough for making the Indian bread, roti. Once she learned the technique of making paper pulp, instead of making independent works out of it, she felt like using them directly on the canvas. The very pasting of pulp on canvas was a thrilling experience for her as the movements of hands facilitated the evolution of different forms and textures.

Started off as a play and felt as a sheer enjoyment derived out if, the textural feel of the manifested images initiated Jain into a different world of aesthetic feel. It was performative, interactive and meditative at the same time. The unexpected images revealed out of the play of pulp on canvases made the artist to perfect the medium as she went along.

According to her the very play has been giving a sort of satisfaction that could come from fondling certain lovable objects.

The ‘palpability’ of this painterly technique became an obsession in due course of time and today Jain is known for the works created out of pulp and paints. They are abstract in nature and contain the innate feelings of the artist.

WHEN: On till 10 January, 2014, 11 am to 8 pm
WHERE: Artspeaks India, 5 Kehar Singh Estate, Lane No. 2, Western Marg, Said-ul-Ajaib Near Garden of Five Senses
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