Anatomy of a Flame features a recent body of work completed over the last two years, simmering with thoughts of longing amidst solitude. Dodiya writes, ‘What breathes within us, nudges us to wake every day and take on the world? There is love. There are reasons. There is the swift energy of the life that we construct.’ For Dodiya, restlessness rules the shadowed rooms we inhabit, living amongst pillows and lying upon mattresses, or breathing behind masks. She mentions connecting with others through intuitive, quivering antennae.
Dodiya’s delight in stain, mark and shape continues to overlap with her agitated gaze in this suite of work, as seen in her watercolours Speeding, Before the crimson dream and Pillowbearer with shadow. Tower of Slowness meditates on the variety of roles we play every day – octopus hands that battle with pencils and knives, a woman awaiting a phone call, a nester embracing family. Her mattress paintings, objects by default, relate to the intimate and domestic, in which truths of self-knowledge are disclosed through meticulous restraint and creative disorientation, but still rife with energy, smouldering to challenge the world outside. These shaped mattresses, including The Map-reader, Clouds for a diver and Drifting clouds, have grown from her earlier mattress paintings, engaged with sharp forms, now named ‘soft shards’ as reminders of domestic ease coloured by an incurable existential anxiety. She includes collage-like interventions using fabric sourced from different geographies, as vibrant disrupters. The photo-works titled Anatomy are images of Dodiya’s oscillations around art, home and the world, bearing traces of revisitation and erasure. They come together in a poem of pauses, seen within the harsh glare of urban, mundane reality. The disturbing, bright light pressurizes the viewer to go closer to the image and conduct an intimate interaction, becoming a performer viewer, a participant under the lights.
Our viewing room holds powerful paintings by leading London-based Pakistani artist Faiza Butt, who recently had a solo show at Grosvenor Gallery in London, as well as exciting emerging Indian artists Biraaj Dodiya and Shrimanti Saha.