The artist’s new Goat and Shepherd sequence is an ode to Nizamuddin in its pre-pandemic days
It is a brilliant July morning and we’re fortunate to have managed to catch painter Anjolie Ela Menon at dwelling sipping tea along with her gallerist and good friend; most mornings, submit 10 am, she is generally at her studio in Nizamuddin. The artist, who turns 81 in the present day (June 17) is pretty buzzing with pleasure, about her solo present at AICON Gallery. The New York-based gallery is understood to characteristic artwork from notable Indian and Pakistani artists and Menon has already packed and despatched off her works. Yet she stays in Delhi, home-bound as a result of coronavirus pandemic. Also, as a result of America isn’t issuing vacationer visas to Indian residents proper now, even when they occur to be one of the nation’s well-known trendy painters.
“It’s sad that I will not be able to attend my own solo show because for me it was a rather significant body of work, created at home during what has definitely been the most trying year for humanity,” says Menon, who has skilled an entire yr of lockdown, moreover recovering from a coronavirus an infection herself. “I think it was painting that kept me sane and prevented me from going stir crazy,” says the Padma Shri awardee, who’s at all times well-turned out along with her signature crimson bindi, impeccably draped sari and heat smile. What is most admirable is that she has remained lively even throughout her late 70s and now her early 80s.
Working Through The Pandemic
“I could no longer visit my studio in the Nizamuddin Lal-Dora area, since everyone in the whole section where I work, had Covid-19,” recollects Menon, who is understood for her figurative and romantic works. “So I ended up bringing my materials home to work. I could not stop work, even during the pandemic,” she affirms. One has visited Menon in each her well-appointed dwelling and her studio and the flavour of the Nazimuddin Basti space and its busy outdated Delhi fashion does certainly permeate her workspace. Adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb Complex and Sunder Nursery, a well-liked picnic spot through the pandemic, it’s full of character.
“I usually like being surrounded by a little flavour of what could still be seen as the rural or village life of India, and the goat-herds and their goats have often featured in my paintings…even during the Covid-19 lockdown,” says Menon who has been actively concerned within the renewal of the Heritage of the Basti space.
Masonites And Christian Iconography
In a profession spanning over six many years, the artist has experimented in acrylic, fiberglass, even Murano glass sculptures. But her quintessential fashion has been to work with oil on board, as is the case along with her 25 new works as effectively, every reflecting her fond recollections of Nizamuddin in its pre-pandemic days. “I like working on a hard surface because my technique is such that I like to work with thin layers of paint,” says Menon about favouring Masonite board, and her distinctive fashion that resembles a Byzantine fresco. The palette of translucent colors is achieved by her layering skinny glazes of oil paint onto hardboard. The finely textured surfaces are additional enhanced by burnishing the completed work with a soft dry brush, making a glow reminiscent of medieval icons.
The Goat and Shepherd sequence has one thing divine about it, although her shepherds have a secretive air. Whether they’re olive-skinned younger males in turbans and lengthy draped coats, or white bearded older males, they maintain the goats like they’re indirectly sacred. There are additionally shepherdesses cradling children, nearly just like the Virgin Mary and her toddler Jesus, with darkish eyes, barely raveled hair and of course colourfully patterned garments.
The assortment has “united me with my muse,” says the artist. She hopes to go to New York quickly, the place her son lives. “My gallerist jokingly told me, ‘Anjolie, if you haven’t been able to have an opening night, we could have a closing ceremony’. Let’s hope that we can actually attend that at least,” the artist says good naturedly. We actually hope the identical.