One Life on Earth: Dhruvi Acharya
After her critically acclaimed show in 2006, Chemould Prescott Road and Nature Morte are very pleased to present Dhruvi Acharya with a new body of work titled, One Life on Earth in August and October 2008.
Dhruvi Acharya's whimsical, highly detailed and layered painting continues. In these days where the use of "artistic assistants" seems the order of the day, Dhruvi labours tirelessly on her canvasses. The result is a breathtaking "breathless" landscape of the people who inhabit Dhruvi's world. On immediate viewing, the surface of her work seems flat and opaque. Go closer, and a world intricately woven by her painstaking hands opens up completely new psychological and visual dimensions in her work. The scale of her work has also shifted: not compromising on the infinitesimal detailing, the sizes of the works have increased significantly.
In this series, she reflects on the current world environment, violence and discord. Acharya creates a unique world where her protagonists metamorphose by the logic of that world; they change shape, they expand, they distend, they float, sprout plants, grow claws, and use "breath-packs" to survive.
In Air Fair, a 14-foot, 22 panel painting, Acharya has composed individual works into a large single work. A mock-advertisement "selling" oxygen, wind, fresh-air, this large multi-paneled painting brings together latent interests that Acharya has had, such as typography, design, the use of language, contemporary street art, comic books, and advertising. With the combination of text and painting, this is an ambitious deviation from what the artist has done in the past.
In yet another large format work, (16 foot work in four panels) titled, Airfare the war for air is between the "haves" and the "have-nots"; in this case the haves being the mutated protagonists growing their own plants atop their heads, whereas the have-nots being human beings, carrying flower-breath-packs (as oxygen bags), clawed and armed to fight for air from the "poor" haves… A futuristic comic- book view into times to come, clad with her wry humour, delicately painted, is another step ahead for Acharya.
A series of 3 paintings titled "Words," have an interesting continuity to earlier works. While the earlier paintings had the figure most often represented by an empty speech bubble, in these works, Acharya has inverted the idea, wherein the words in the speech bubbles are clearly in place, the people missing. The story complete within the span of the canvas, it provokes the viewer into figuring out the tale, by simply reading the text. Actual folk tales that once again represent suppression of women is the subject matter of this body work.