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Shobha Broota: Scent of Visual Language, Lost Terrain of Colours

If an artist loves silence, does Art become a flame of stillness? If an artist lives in the spirit of music, what is her Art? If an artist knows music and Art, what is her Art? Shobha Broota is an artist and musician; she studied music first, then Art in the 1960s, and became an artist, well known and celebrated in India and worldwide.

Untitled (2010) by Shobha Broota -Fabric and wool on canvas/credit: artsy.net

“Much is achieved when I live in silence. My work is a journey in search of myself. It is the experience of space, colour, expanse and movement through which I travel into this mystical world. My work is geared towards silent inner communication’, said Shobha Broota. Shobha Broota brings the aesthetics of music through colours and enriches the visuality of society, furnishing sufficient help to perform her imaginative appetite. She always holds the narration of social needs and argues that society needs to respect, understand and appreciate Art as a medium of expression, which contributes to its aesthetic growth. An artist helps society see the finer aspects of living.

Scent of Visual Language

For Shobha, Art is a seeable language and doesn’t need to explain what Art is to the people; each has a strange vocabulary, perception and distinctive response to affairs in life. She urges society to facilitate Art, assist artists in portraying work in abodes and locations, and let them pursue visual delight. The creation of Art has been an obsession from time immemorial, and this should persist.

Divine Grace (2008) Oil on Canvas by Sobha Broota / credit: artsy.net

Sobha Broota was born into an artist family. Her husband is the artist Rameshwar Broota, and their daughter Pooja Iranna and her husband GR Iranna are also artists. She established herself in the Indian art scene through diverse mediums, styles and subjects, praised her portraits of men, women, abstract human and birds, animals, and insect physiques, and features of nature, water, air and fire as her subjects. “Shobha’s works, in whatever medium, do not overtly claim any whiff of holiness. Not at all. Instead, they are her effort to understand and work within the boundaries of an age-old convention with the essential harmony or purity of the underlying reality, as of inner reality, said Art critic Keshav Malik.

Some of her works show her vision of Art in mixed medium canvases produced within a period picturing the deviation from and a transition of her minimalist style and showing, as mentioned by Ranjit Hoskote, “arrival at a magisterial idiom of abstraction, one in which line is embodied in thread, in all its palpable materiality, while colour is translated into a resonant field, the source and goal of all vibrations”.

Artist as Art educator

Untitled – 1, 2010 By Sobha Broota / credit: artsy.net

Educating people about Art is her long-time routine. After two- years of the pandemic, her works were displayed at the India Art Festival, and her comments on Art were, ‘Art is not a money-making profession.’ It became the headline for the paper when Art became an attractive moneyed career for the new-gen artist. Her obligation to the people, to educate them, and help as a teacher in school, college and in her studio, and still getting requests for help in her 70s, she gave it to them with an open spirit.

Sohba Broota exhibited her works extensively worldwide and participated in residencies in Kuala Lumpur and Perth, among other places; her paintings are seminal and creative interactions of abstract art practice, materialised in silence and seclusion. The dramatic entry of her inner dialogues into the canvas carries unnoticed elements through an embrace of colours.

What internal life is portrayed in her paintings is an undeniable question when we see her paintings and the aesthetical paradigms gathered slowly by the layers of the abstract dance of colours.

Buddha II by Sobha Broota / credit: shobhabroota.com

Does anybody know what Art is? If yes, how do we explain that Art? Who is the artist, and why are these artists featuring conceptual things and nature in their Art? Colours are represented as something more than colours; here, artists carry ‘us’ to the visual poetry of the life of paintings. The plain and motionless colour schemes are consciously reasoned in each artwork, and each medium’s compositions of embellished shades emphasise a harmonious balance of her thoughts and practices.

Argument on Colour

We may wonder why Shobha Broota repeatedly uses the same layers and sameness in her paintings while the viewer gets lost somewhere at some point. This artwork brings us back into reality, which helps us lose again in a beautiful terrain of shades or colours. Shobha Broota’s works are artistic investigations of colours and a sense of stillness, a powerful blend of meaningless movements in the real world in an abstract way.

From 1964, Shobha Broota exhibited her works in many galleries, such as Shridharni Art Gallery, Delhi, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, Schoo’s Gallery, Amsterdam, Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay, International Studio A.F.W.A., Fremantle, Australia, Edith Cowen University, Perth, Birla Academy of Arts & Craft, Kolkata, Indigo Blue Art, Singapore, A.I.C.O.N. Gallery, Palo Alto, California, S.N.O. 89, Contemporary Art Project, Sydney, Australia, MOSA, Museum Of Sacred Art, Belgium, Aicon Gallery, New York, USA.

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