26 May, 2004

Sushma Joshi's "Blue" Nepal at Gallery 9

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Sushma Joshi's "Blue" Nepal at Gallery 9

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KATHMANDU, May 26 - The poignant hues of deep blue in her paintings serve to embody the agonies of the present "Blue Period" in Nepal. A period that artist Sushma Joshi, also a Brown University graduate and a former art model, describes as a state of political stagnation and instability that has reaped nothing but torments and sufferings for the people of this once peaceful country.
"It is high time that we had had a change for the good," she adds. "My paintings are just the reflections of the urgent need for creative and spiritual transformations on both personal and national levels."

The paintings, which are on display at an ongoing exhibition entitled "Transformations" at Gallery 9, also prove the artistic and intellectual talents of the artist in Sushma Joshi. She has used highly symbolic icons and myriad of feminine images to expressively represent the suffering of the people. With attention to the slightest details, even the direction of paint flow on the canvas has been carefully coordinated to create that perfect picture. The emphasis on facial features such as the eyes and nose, and the omnipresent cross on most of her works also, add an individual signature to the paintings.

"Learning to draw a cross by not using straight lines was a challenge. It took me three days before I could draw a cross that did not have perfectly straight lines," recalls Sushma.

Popping out from the otherwise almost entirely blue series of paintings are three small works that are dominated by red color. Named Past, Present and Future, each of these distinctive paintings, as their names suggest, represents the states of Nepal at different times.

"I’ve depicted the past and present of Nepal as being violent and bloody," explains Sushma. "And as for the future, it is uncertain and amorphous as are the papers that have been pasted on the painting."Sushma has also used real rice grains in the painting entitled "Present" to, in her own words, appreciate the significance of this cereal to Nepalis.

Sharing the secrets to creating such unique artworks, Sushma reveals, "Learning to see realistically is only the first step. After that, you take off and try to see all the unseen dimensions." She further adds, "Art is more than aesthetics or creating just beautiful pictures. It is an experiment using different media and genres to see and show the phenomena not visible to the naked eyes."

The exhibition continues up to the end of May.

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