VALLERY PURI, THE ARTIST AND HER ART
If someone were to ask me what art is, I would say there is no ‘right or ‘real’ answer to that query and one cannot truly or completely answer that question. Is it something that appeals to one’s soul?
As an artist, whilst I paint, I feel connected to our Universe. There is this all round feeling of one-ness, of being and yet not. This feeling of lightness of being……..
I have been painting from the time I can remember, and before that, as my parents remind me. Serious goal oriented painting with exhibitions in mind began on the morning of 8th Jan 1996 and has pretty much continued since. It was a dream on the night of 7th Jan that guided me and literally told me what to do. Fortunately, I actually listened and followed those instructions. My styles have evolved and matured over the years and continue to do so. It has been an interesting and colourful journey so far.
I am strongly influenced by the powers of nature and how it in turn controls us. The way we think, the way we are and feel. These emotions spill out on my canvases in a way that is figurative, descriptive and busy at times and otherwise simple and straight. It communicates the state of mind one is in ---- the busy ness or the bland blankness. These colours, compositions, and combinations are simply a form of communicating the varied emotions one feels as life unfolds with all its twists and turns. Sometimes I use opposing colours to the way I feel----- bright ones when I actually am in a dark space and so on.
Every painting has its own story to tell and a different one for each of the viewers who relate in their own personal way to what they see. Most of my paintings have titles like-------- Hukka, Chandini, Zevar, Darwaza, Khaali, Udasini, Mazaak, and so on.
On 8th of Jan 1996, I started with black ink on cartridge paper. As the weeks passed, several colours were added and gradually I moved on to canvas boards and black ink was replaced by a thick texturised (relief) look. I have used knives, brushes, back tips of brushes, croquil pens, pencils, twigs and several other everyday tools to achieve a fine intricate look in some of my work.
It has been an experimental “Learn along the way as you play” kind of journey. Six months ago I began indulging in some smooth oils. I cannot express how much fun this has been! The series that I am currently doing is titled “ASLEEP” and is based on the “Mood of the moment”. I recently survived a very bad car accident due to which I broke my neck in two places. There was this state of stillness. Of a lack of feeling, of being alive and yet not……… a feeling of detachment, almost as if my heart was asleep. The people, pillows, pankhas, and pallus in this series are painted in a state of stillness in the vibrant, moving colours of life.
Most of my paintings are primarily figurative. Having been a caricaturist right through school and college, it was but natural to pursue the curves of the body, mind, and soul. I use most mediums to explore my thoughts,---- acrylic, oils, inks or pastels. Artists Who have inspired me are Madhav Satwalekar, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Amrita Shergil, -------amongst others……….
When I am not painting, I create jewelry. It's fun and I can actually walk around wearing a piece that was created moments ago!! Sort of “Fresh from the oven feel” to it…….. There is always something new to look forward to and experiment with and of course learn from. I thank our universe wholeheartedly for this………… I have, unfortunately not been as responsible in creating a catalogue of my work, the lack of which I now realize. There are some 200 odd paintings not photographed. They are there, somewhere, bought and hung in homes all over the world and giving those buyers good vibrations……… I hope.