The Great Outdoors
Planned urbanization and mechanization remain crucial for human progress, and yet these advancements lead to a gradual loss of control. The more man craves technological progress with all its modern-day comforts, the more alienated he becomes from his roots, over ourselves and our environment. In turn, we instinctively urge for the outdoors. Part of us yearns to connect with nature and feel the rejuvenating effect it has on our psyche. Unlike the constant obligations that demand something of us, the great outdoors gives something to us- a sense of coming home, of regaining our lost innocence, of finding peace at last.
My paintings are varying angles of a single prism. At first glance, you see a humoured portrayal of a quaint scene; upon further examination, an integrated, multi-layered expression reveals itself. One can grasp the complexity and nuance of my vision only after abandoning our typical notions and then keenly observing the relationships and components at play. The projected images serve as a veneer, behind which an infinite number of experiences and interpretations are possible. Each painting has the potential for several meanings; one revealed by the presence of colours juxtaposed carefully to form a harmonious whole, one revealed by the intricate patterns and details, and one revealed by the underlying content and narration. Thus, what appears to be a choice of method (a technique involving four layers of colour) proves to be the seeds, sun, and water of a highly complex organism of construction.
The paintings intend to make you feel that you are watching a snapshot of life at maximum authenticity- exuberant and packed with bursting energy. There is one optical illusion born of another. Is the focus the scene at hand, the shapes and details that surround the people, both, or something else entirely? I seek to challenge the viewer to modify the typical way of reading conventional signs and patterns.
The conversation I hope to create in my work is a certain truth of life and on a deeper level, a well thought philosophy. I construct fantastic versions of accessible scenes, both rural and urban utopias. Individuals may interpret my paintings in vastly disparate ways and each view will be equally logical and plausible, thought-provoking and intriguing. A picture of the moment is built in which whole relationships are made visible. My work is all about time. And through my paintings, time is movement stilled.
Society continues to forge ahead in scientific advancement, seeming to accelerate the divide in our connection to nature. And yet, we find ways to bring the outside back into our lives, at times subconsciously, at times with great perspective and intention. Ultimately, the goal and thus the journey remains the challenge to balance the polarity of the worlds in which we reside.
Nayanaa Kanodia graduated from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, in Economics (Honours). She won the National Scholarship of the Govt. of India. An economist turned painter, Nayanaa is entirely a self- taught artist except for a year’s apprenticeship with Anjolie Ela Menon.
She had her first solo show in 1986 in Mumbai and has held numerous solo exhibitions since then in India and abroad. In 1998, she was selected by The Commonwealth Institute from all the artists of the Commonwealth Countries for a solo show in their recently renovated complex in London. In 2001 she was invited by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London to exhibit her paintings and to give a demonstration of her painting techniques. She is the first Indian of non-British origin whose works are in the collection of “Paintings In Hospitals”, UK, previously named as a British Museum.
She has participated in many group shows nationally and internationally including the ones in New York in 1988, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai in 1997 and 1998, Dubai in 1998, 2012, London in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2012, Centre Regional D’Art Contemporain’, Sete, France in 2001, Washington in 2001, Paris in 2002, Hong Kong in 2005, 2012, Singapore in 2006, 2011, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo in 2007, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2007.
She has conducted Art Camps in India and abroad. Her work also features in several auctions of Indian Contemporary Art internationally
Nayanaa”s works are held in many major public and private collections in India and abroad including the Musee International d’Art Naïve, Paris.
She is featured in a prestigious international book ‘ Women in Art ‘ by Reinhard Fuchs.
Impressed by the messages/ meanings conveyed in her paintings, a consortium of schools in Los Altos, USA is using her work as a medium of instruction to their students.
She lives and works in Mumbai.