Recent works by Jayashree Chakravarty
Jayashree Chakravarty is drawn to lines that she perceives in nature, where everything appears webbed and connected. From roots to stems, from textures to armatures, twigs to creepers, the continuity of linear patterns and their formations have always fascinated the artist. To her, they symbolize Nature’s immanence as a ‘wired ecology’. Jayashree keenly observes how change of seasons leave their marks and traces on the surface of the terrain, how the jagged lines of the barren trees in fall, stand out like silhouettes against the sky and the wind storm and pouring rain create their own imprints on the face of the earth. Through prolonged workings, Jayashree brings to bear upon her paper scrolls and canvases, the regenerative quality inherent in nature. Within the rich layering in her works, we find delicate roots or skeins of medicinal plants as well as ropes/straws buried under, while some palpable ones like swollen veins, breathe closer to its skin. The canvas carries raw furrows of paint that the artist directly creates on the canvas with a rare brilliance, unpremeditated and messy, but capturing the palpable connectedness of nature-forms.
For a long time now, nature has been the subject as well as the substance of Jayashree’s art. Her works draw sustenance from the organic materials she puts to use, collecting dry leaves and dry flowers, twigs and delicate branches, roots and medicinal seeds, and now, crushed eggshells as well, weaving and mending, as if the ruptured fabric of life. An accomplished painter, her densely composed canvases in the past decades, exploded with excessive imagery both gestural and visceral, drawing the viewers in the vortex of unsettling inchoate landscapes, colliding aerial and frontal views, subverting any static vantage point. Here, the painted lines along with dry twigs, crushed shells and tiny stuffed rags, stir up an intricate visuality, drawing our attention to an assembly of nesting and flowing lines, rapid and languid, all threading a maze, a camouflage and the raw fecundity of nature.
Jayashree has also created monumental cocoon-like structures to make us step into an insect’s world or the alien sphere where humans are the least dominant species. Through her art, she envisions and urges for a less divisive place on earth that is fertile with possibilities of co-habitation and co-existence.
Director & Chief Curator, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
About Jayashree Chakravarty
Jayashree Chakravarty (b. 1956) studied at the best art institutions in India, first, at Visva Bharati in the sprawling natural environs of Santiniketan, and then at the Faculty of Fine Arts at MS University, Baroda, where she was exposed to an urban sensibility. She was also an artist in residence at Aix en Provence from 1993-95 where she was influenced in the formative years of her practice by the French movement Supports/Surfaces, especially by Claude Viallat and also had conversations with some of the group members at the time. Inventing her own creative techniques, using organic material and varied kinds of papers, her installations in the form of paper scrolls remain unique in their conceptions and execution.
Jayashree has had exhibitions both in India and abroad, with shows at various museums, in Nice, France; Berlin, Germany; Chicago, USA, and Singapore. Her recent shows include her exhibition at Musée Guimet, Nice, France and at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai, both in collaboration with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, and supported by Akar Prakar.
The artist lives and works in Kolkata, India.