This residency is an unusual and exciting experience for Atul. He is very open to experimentation and has been working in mixed media for many years – including installations. This residency is something he has been looking forward to.
Over the last 5 years, Atul has grown in confidence and is less questioning and self-critical. Working at STPI is enabling him to loosen up even more, particularly in the paper room where he feels he is really embracing the potential of the medium.
In the past, aesthetics had been the main focus of Atul’s work, but in the last few years, he has found the need to reflect more seriously on the social and political issues in India, and globally. This started with the series of works on Ghandi. Atul sees the artist as part of the social fibre – an artist can use his art.
The subject of Atul Dodiya’s residency: an exploration of a female character – Sabari - from one of India’s classical epic stories – the Ramayana, about Lord Rama and the money king saving Sita. In the legend, the character Sabari is an old woman who waits for Lord Rama to visit her. Atul wants to explore what she may have been like as a young woman – something the Indian story rarely touches on. This is going back a long way into India’s history – back to nature and to a woman who became known for the respect she showed for nature, the wildlife. Whilst he is not being too literal, he feels that some of the respect we have for our world may have been lost.