With a vision of growth

With a vision of growth

Starting out with sketching and drawing as a young girl, Marie Dias Arora made it her life’s goal to be a painter. The desire only grew when she got a French government scholarship to study etching under William Hayter and Krishna Reddy at the Atelier Seventeen (1969) in Paris, France. “I learnt etching or creating designs on metal plates in Paris, but drawings and sketches is what I started with,” says 79-year-old Arora.

Exhibiting some of her sketches created since 2012 as part of her recently held solo exhibition, ‘Inner Terrains’ at Galerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Française de Delhi, Arora displayher idea of “growth in nature”. In square frames, there are series of flowers and plants at each stage of their life and birth of a child from an embryo. Largely inspired by the organic and evocative patterns in nature – entangled roots and branches, sea, sand and cliff, Arora shows growth in its most rustic form. The ‘textural quality’ reflects her training in etching in Paris, under the master printmakers Reddy and Hayter. In some works, the artist’s experience over the decades as a watercolour painter also surface. She has participated in several group shows as well as art camps in Goa and Garhi, Delhi as part of her stint as an art teacher at Modern School, Vasant Vihar from 1975 to 2003.

She tells Metrolife, “Each sketch had a different idea. It started with a small vision to explore the simple things in life and nature whether flowers or birth of children. I have translated these emotions into images.” Using Japanese ink brush-pens, fine artist pens and pastel, the visual language expresses “a balance between freedom and control”. She mentions that her works are mostly in black, white and grey as it provides her “clarity”. “It has to do with my vision. I see best in black, white and grey,” says Arora.

Born in 1946 into a family which traces its origins to Bardez in Goa, Arora grew up in Mumbai, where she studied painting at the JJ School of Art (1963-64). She then moved to the Delhi College of Art, from where she graduated in 1968. The Delhi-based artist has her works featured in institutional collections such as the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata and in private collections in India and abroad.

Describing what made her choose the title, she says, “Terrain is earth and for me, these are inner spaces. The works come from my inner emotional space, so nature becomes the medium through which I express my emotions. They reflect subjects which are close to my heart.”

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