How Shivani Dugar ditched the financial world and became a spiritual artist

Mingling with the buoyant blues and greens nature provides, is a nostalgic memory of the ocean and the hills by the sea,” says artist Shivani Dugar of one of her works. Hence Dugar makes a reference to the processes which inform her works. Memory, imagination and a reproduction of the places encountered and visited.

The names of her artworks are also representative of a moment in time. Names like “A sun & wind story”, “Meet again”, “A forever sky” and “rainfall remembered” tell us that Dugar is continually trying to reproduce from imagination and memory. One can say her works are how a traveller creates a blur in his head about what he sees, and how he would paint it. Like a blur.

Says Bangalore-based art critic Nalini Malaviya about the role of memory in Dugar’s works, “Memories are encapsulated as sensory chronicles, snapshots of time and emotion, while the textural overlay with pigments creates a resonance of energy and space,” while also pointing to other aspects which inform Dugar’s art – time, emotion, energy and space. The paintings look like there are thumbprints all over them, or that they are “scraped and scratched.”

“The natural beauty of landscape, human spirituality, the time of day and experience and hope are some of my inspirations,” says Dugar. She shares unequivocally that spirituality is a big inspiration for her. Malaviya says in a description of Dugar’s art exhibition at Worli’s Art & Soul gallery that her works don’t have distractions like objects and things shown in them. The show, called “Of Life & Landscape,” will be on at the gallery till Sunday, November 3rd. In Dugar’s paintings, there is no grotesque display of people, animals and things.

How Shivani Dugar ditched the financial world and became a spiritual artist

About her journey into the art world, Dugar, who studied Finance at Georgetown University, says that art was something she always felt inclined towards. However, like every confused student, she did finance first to make sure art was ultimately what she wanted to do. Hence she went through the grind of studying a subject she wasn’t very interested in, in order to find her true calling. Art.

She says her art is very “therapeutic” for her. “To be able to capture the time of day”, is like lifting life and putting it on the drawing board for her. She enjoys painting in the mornings, and that time of day often underlines her mood, and gets converted into painting, for her. “I like to celebrate the magnificent glory of nature,” says Dugar as she once again stresses on the fact that it is indeed our world’s natural beauty which filters itself into her work. Dugar says she enjoys symbolism too, because her art appeals to onlookers in a symbolic way, and never an obvious way.

How Shivani Dugar ditched the financial world and became a spiritual artist

The Kolkata-born artist also tells us that despite being based in NYC, India is her forever home, and that she will always think of herself as Indian. Shares Tarana Khubchandani, the show’s curator, that some of the sales proceeds will go to charity. In aid of cancer patients. Treatment for cancer is expensive and part of the proceeds will go to help cancer patients pay for chemotherapy, radiation and to buy drugs like tamoxifen.

At the exhibition, buyer Sushma Jain, an artist herself, says that she has always felt very warmed by Dugar’s work. Jain says that she bought a painting because the work she thought had “a softness and a vibrancy in it.”

How Shivani Dugar ditched the financial world and became a spiritual artist

Not just a visual treat, Jain tell us that Dugar’s work has a powerful psychological effect on patrons. The technique of art Dugar has employed in the works is called printmaking – “intricate lines, crosshatching of etching, engraving, and the soft lines of lithography.” The paintings also include the important artistic element called Value – where each work has light and dark areas.

When: On till November 3 (Monday to Saturday –10 am to 7:30 pm; Sunday – 11 am to 4 pm)

Where: Art & Soul, 11, Madhuli, Shivsagar Estate, Worli, Mumbai

How Shivani Dugar ditched the financial world and became a spiritual artist

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