STPI challenged Shambhavi to break fresh new grounds enabling her to experiment with an immense array of print- and paper-making possibilities. Working intensely with STPI’s workshop team, Shambhavi translated her concepts inspired by the frugal lives of farmers from her native land Bihar, India, into powerful, minimalist works using paper. “Lonely Furrow” proves Shambhavi’s artistic bravery with the integration of new methods and icons in her art, expressing the transient realities of life in a fickle era of materialistic excess.
Shambhavi’s vision of the farmer ploughing a “lonely furrow‟ to plant seeds, illustrates the most fundamental tool, the sickle. The minimalist steel clusters symbolise the communal act of farming whereby its natural deterioration and sturdy structures convey resilience and rustic beauty revealed through the passage of time. The fascinating textures and colour intensity of Sickle and Cosmic Seed were a result of Shambhavi’s engravings in copper plates, followed by the chemical corrosion of plates to achieve intricate surface textures that made prints with complex tonalities.
The Illumination series defined by light, fire and shadows, explores the human phenomena based on the farmer’s intimate relationship with his bare essentials – oil wick bottles and the humble bowl for sustenance and energy. Shambhavi created larger than life paintings to amplify the importance of these small, simple vessels and painted layers of pigmented paper pulp onto freshly made paper to achieve its luminous effect, made more intriguing by the fuzz and fibrous textures of paper pulp.
Shambhavi’s wall sculptures in cast paper, solidify traces of human life defined by memories and living spaces, basis of our common existence. The brilliant, turmeric coloured walls of Griha Sanctum I & II, show a cavity that holds oil wicks and cracks that exhibit weathered fissures of the farmer’s earthen homes. Khet Kyaari Furrow, a spare vision of white is composed of symmetrical sickle moulds, converging into the metaphorical furrows where seeds are planted. Though these monochromatic paper casts are reduced to pure, self- referential forms, its organic geometry and subtle embody deep emotions to memory and place.
“It is very gratifying to see Shambhavi‟s collaboration with STPI‟s workshop team extending her practice in significant ways in this new body of innovative works, which adds an exciting chapter to Shambhavi‟s universal story of the human experience,” said STPI Director, Emi Eu.
Shambhavi was born in Patna, Bihar in 1966. She received a BFA from the College of Fine Arts and Crafts, Patna, in 1986 and an MFA in the College of Arts, New Delhi, in 1992. Much inspired by her journeys around the globe – in particular to Amsterdam and South Africa – her paintings, sculptures and installations are characterised by themes of self-exploration, survival and livelihood. Her works have been exhibited worldwide in a number of solo exhibitions including „Lullaby‟ at Talwar Gallery, New Delhi in 2008, „A Bird and 2000 Echoes‟ at Talwar Gallery, New York in 2007, and „Passage from India‟ at the Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town in 1998.