The proficiency and soundness of the young lady’s views and manner of execution makes one pay a second look to her works, so different in method and intent, yet so clear and honest of purpose in both cases. Having recently shown at the Convention Foyer IHC, the 3rd Year College of Art alumnus, Nehmat Mongia, speaks about herself and her related works.
Curated by mentor-guru Shobha Broota, for whom Mongia shares unreserved fondness and regard, it was undoubtedly an intelligent exposition. As the works show, her vocabulary and technique for the two series of works shown are vastly different andunrelated.
The 8”x 8” untitled works are made of miscellany, consisting of mixed media ~ “a variety of paints on paper along with remnants of childhood collections that include metal wires, coloured wires, buttons, sequence, beads, broken bracelets and thread.
To whether she would call them paintings, she says, “This series is a way of breaking loose from given definitions. They may be called a painting, an illustration, a composition or a collage, intending to tap into the imagination of her viewers, build interpretations and perspectives bringing forth basic human emotions of fright and flight.” For herself they are expressions of a colourful world, with forms and figures that emerge like a dream. “While I interact with my colours I am transported into a sense of another being, which is what is seen on paper.”
Her material itself is collected on the basis of seeing beauty in every little object. “My personality in itself does not allow me to throw away without a thought. Different textures, forms and colours have always attracted me to themselves. So in my own way I am redefining waste.” Having selected them she then tries to “explore their material possibilities”.
Asked as to when she first began to see things/matter in the light of, say, a rope/a thread beginning to look like a walking stick or a line to draw with, she explains, “After doing an intense study of animals, forests and my imaginative robotic world represented in my work Creators Ensemble in pen and pencil on canvas, of 16.5 x 5 ft I could see forms everywhere; in the clouds, textures of wood, splashes of paint, seepage on the walls, water, rusted metal and cloth. All of these have been my source of inspiration.”
The Creator’s Ensemble (16.4ft x 5ft) uses pen and pencil on canvas. “An amalgam of realism, observation and imagination, it moves left to right, following an academic study of ‘Animals’ running towards a ‘Forest’, their home and natural habitat under dire threat of being destroyed by the ‘Robotic Figures’ of my imagination, representing mankind’s own creations charging towards the forest, in turn causing large scale upheaval known perceived through the ages as ‘Kalyug’.”
Lucid thoughts, suitably contemporary, Nehmat has a fertile and colourful imagination with which she deploys miscellany to say things on her picture plane, her draughtsman’s ability flawless and exemplary, manifested in her Creator’s Ensemble. The mechanical objects flying on the given space are no less real, suitably representing the menacing world of technology, facilitating us but challenging nature with each new development. Intelligent and articulate, Mongia is certainly an artist to look out for!