Artist Anju Dodiya returns to Europe after five years, for a special show at Galerie Templon, Brussels

By Uma Nair | Architectural Digest India

After a five-year absence from Europe, the renowned Indian artist Anju Dodiya unveils her latest show Tower of Slowness at Galerie Templon in Brussels. The artists is known for her self-portraits that explore the conflicts between inner life and external reality. These works have conveyed her frustrations with the violence in the world, the incommunicability between people and political scenarios. The pandemic-induced lockdown acted as a catalyst for the artist to produce a set of seven padded canvases cut in geometric shapes. These incongruous "mattresses" are installed on the gallery walls and showcase a series of portraits combined with animal skin motifs which are both familiar and enigmatic.

The works are a mixture of charcoal and watercolour,  and provide a glimpse of brief, intimate scenes, both reassuring and ambiguous. When in Delhi for an exhibition years ago, she spoke of the experience and said the mattress offered her texture and presence, and influenced the subject of the work as well. When asked about the difference between working with paper and the mattress she said: “I realised that with the mattress there are textures that I have to interact with. My painting process became more carefree. And there was a novel pleasure in working with  textures  and playing with its bulges. Also, being a bed, mattresses pushed me to contemplate new ways in which to express…bodies and relationships and, sleep and dreams. ” 

20 April 2021