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Artist - Profiles

- S.G. Vasudev
- Yusuf Arakkal
- Sheela Gowda
- Ayisha Abraham
- Amarnath
- Archana Hande
- Surekha
- Shanthamani
- Srinivas Prasad
- Krishna Raj Chonat
- Ravikumar Kashi

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Sheela Gowda

The recent thread works of Sheela Gowda are part of the artist's ongoing interest in alerting us to the "everyday " In 1991, amirst social unrest in India, she experienced a crisis in pairiurig, As a result Sheela Gowda sought to reassess her role as an artist by experimenting with materials of preater metaphoric potency Since that time she has worked with the medium of cow-dung, coconut fiber and, in the last year or so, she has created large suspended works made from dozens of threads and needles. In creating art from materials that have an everyday application in India, the artist invokes the aroma texture and color of the natural and cultural landscape. She transforms these media into art with minimal means so that the relationship between the everyday and artistic meaning is in delicate balance.

Sheela Gowda

Artist at studio

Sheets Gowda's use of cow-dino is significant The cow is a symbol of non-volence in India and cow-dung is used for rituals as well as for the regenerative purposes of fuel and housing The artist works the surface of the cow-dung paintings (exhibited in the "Johannesburg Biennale" and in "Traditions/ Tensions. Contemporary Art in Asia") with a sense of wounding, slashiny arid piercing, suggesting alrjics violent, yet sensual, bodily fissures;. Some of these paintings are also embellished with small areas of kunnkunn (used for the red bind, dots on women's foreheads), gold leaf and tiny pieces of cheap fabric, suggestive of a female subjectivity.

Sheela Gowda first used thread in a series of coconut fiber works made in 1995, which followed the cow dung paintings. She placed embroidery rings over the fiber delineating two areas in the work the encircled space upon which she placed small strings of thread, and the outlying area of fiber that spread freely beyond the. ring This creates a play between an inside space and an outside space, a contained space and an unwieldy fibrous "natural" space

In the last year or so, the artist has used thread as a suspended sculleturai entity in itself Long lengths of red thread are hung from the wall and move beyond it to the floor. Like drawings in three diritensiunal space, these new pieces at times have the appearance of unbound hair. Re calling the post-Minninralfir sculpture of Eva Hesse, the two long cords in And Tel/ Him of My Pain (catmo.8) have been threaded through all nine needles to form a "head" the clutch of needles. The "tail" is unglued, while the 'body" of the threads is glued into a cord of about 1 centimeter in diameter. Bright red at its lip, and black-red through its core, the simplicity of And Tell Him of My Pain manages to suggest a host of bodily sensations and emotions: vulnerability, pain, entanglement, flow, desire, session and aggression. The process of making these cords is a vital part of their meaning and significance as the artist must engage in a performative mode to realize the work As in the coconut fiber works, the. artist explores the relationships between form and formlessness the cords are both joined and unraveled, the sculpture is both formed and unfureled

Sheela Gowda's work with thread may be seen inthecontextof other contemporary artists who weave, sew and knit to create a new web of relationships over the natural and cultural onestflat lie embedded in their materials Since 1992 Germaine Koh, born in Malaysia and workinq in Toronto, has knifted an endless blanket from unraveled sweaters and scarves. The German artist Regina Frank combines bead collecting, textile. production and multimedia performance Australias Fiona Hall has knitted Coca Cola cans and video tape whle India's Washer Mukhp.rjee has woven jute into erotic. forms, folds and creases To sew is to decorate, arid to heai But Sheela Gowda takes another approach ahngether ther threads join with nothing other than each other They twist and meander through the space in a mariner that is at once. disciplined and disubecient independent and directed bound and unbound.

(Victoria Lynn)

Bio - data of Sheela Gowda

- 1957 Born in Bhadravati, Karnataka, India
- 1979 Diploma (Painting), Ken School of Art, Bangalore
- 1979-80 Studied painting under K.G. Subramanyan, MS. University
(Maharaja Sayajirao University), Vadodara
- 1982 Post-Diploma (Painting), Visvabharati University, Santiniketan
- 1986 MA" Royal College of Art, London Lives in Bangalore, India.
- Solo Exhibitions
- 1987, 93 Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore
- 1989 Gallery 7, Mumbai
- 1993 "Anatomy of Sacrilege," Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
- Selected Group Exhibitions
- 1981, 82, 85 Annuai Exhibition, Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi, Bangalore.
- 1984 Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
- 1986 Degree Show, Royal College of Art, London.
- 1987 Gallery 7, Mumbai.
- 1988 2nd Biennale, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.
- 1989 "Timeless Art:' Victoria Terminus, Mumbai.
- 1994 "Tangente," Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
- 1995 "Africus," 1st Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg
"Art and Nature," Bhuddha Jayanti Park, New Delhi
"lmmaterial-Material," MMB, Bangalore.
- 1996-98 "Traditions/Tensions' Contemporary Art in Asia," Asia Society, New York/traveling exhibition to Canada, Australia and Taiwan.
- 1997-98 "Telling Tales," British Council, New Delhi/Victoria Gallery,
Bath/Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance/Nottingham Castle Museum &
Art Gallery, Nottingham [Honors and Awards]
- 1979-82 Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship, Bangalore
- 1984-86 INLAKS Foundation Scholarship, New Delhi.
- 1996-98 Senior Fellowship, Department of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi.

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