Beej – The self as a dot – Solo Exhibition

by Dipti Pandey

In the abstract landscape of Mumbai where non-representation prevails as a dominant trend, native tantric art and western abstraction have had an eclectic conversation. Dipti’s sensibilities generously absorb these without hesitation and she makes it her own, interestingly she brings a feminine sensibility of being a woman, and her ability to be pregnant with life, and the power to give birth.

Dipti Pandey has been exploring abstraction through material and form, the current body of works from a series called “Beej”- seed. From the Bindu- dot that signifies the most fundamental elements of form. She explores the process of germination of this pregnant form that the seed that will come to life and explode into life/reality. On one level the artist refers to tantric forms that have been explored by artists who have distilled the essence of line, color, and form in its primordial essence. But her inspiration emerges from her lived experience of being in Mumbai, she looks at her own self as a dot in this multitude of humans that live, love, and transit in this multiple-city.

The artist’s lineage comes from the abstraction that looks at nature intensely, by focusing on germination and life with a childlike curiosity- to look at a sesame seed that grows in her balcony window that overlooks the maze of urban architecture- the ever-expanding skyline that never ceases to grow.

Dipti plays with color field space with elemental forms- dot, line, circle, oval shapes that dominate the space, then a dot, like a speck of life emerges animating the space, a line creates a geometric tension, and the sand-like texture explodes into stardust. The artist’s work is open to multiple interpretations and can be seen as a microscopic world that unravels itself under the lens. In the macro context, it could be the cosmos of stars, planets, and comets that hover over us in the night sky.

Dipti emphasizes the sensuality of material through textures of industrial white cement on canvas, she celebrates the inherent sensuality of a germinating seed and tracks her own self as a point in the matrix of humanity. Her own trajectory is defined by this city where her movements of urban transit that transport millions of citizens across the city that never sleeps. In this Metropolis, the artist is the dot as she navigates the self between the home and the world, and finds her place in the human cosmos.

Suresh Jayaram

Art historian and curator.