Restaurateur Bhavna’s art show opens Friday

Art promoter Akumal Ramachander discovered Bhavna Kothari, and worked with her for two years for the show.

Celebrating Abstraction’ by Bhavna Kothari opens this week at Gallery Time and Space. It is a collection of about 20 of her oil paintings from the past two years.
Painting and art is a part of Bhavna Kothari’s daily rhythm. It’s so much so that when her children were younger they assumed it was part of every mother’s routine; not realising that their mother is an artist.

Now, she wants to bring her newfound love for abstract work to the world - starting with Bengaluru. “The figurative work people make is full of narratives and stories,” Bhavna says.

“Our lives are dominated by reality 24/7 through news and social media and the Internet, we’re surrounded by images and figures,” she adds. 

“I wanted to do something deeper than that and go with abstract and feel free from a narrative.”

Bhavna’s exhibition has been two years in the making. It is curated by Akumal Ramachander, known for discovering expressionist Harold Shapinsky in the United States in 1985.

The pair met when he was a regular diner at her vegetarian restaurant in Koramangala and complained to her after he witnessed a customer run into a glass door.

Bhavna couldn’t believe her luck, she’d been wanting to connect with the well-known art promoter for more than 15 years after a recommendation of a mutual friend.

They’ve been working together since that encounter at the restaurant, and Akumal has been helping her master the art of abstract.

“People think it’s just ‘swish swosh’ with a paintbrush, but it’s not. These are complete pieces that follow rules,” Akumal says.

Keeping the exhibition under wraps for the past two years, Akumal says he is prepared for any critics. “I have confidence that Bhavna could sell in any gallery in the world.”

Adds Bhavana, “I see him more as a teacher than a curator to me.”

Originally from Madhya Pradesh, Bhavna moved to Bengaluru in the 1990s and had one of her first exhibitions at Gallery Time and Space.

Between mothering and running a restaurant, exhibitions took a backseat, and she’s been cultivating her art passion in her downtime. She has converted one of the rooms in her house into a studio, and dedicates a few hours to her work in the evenings. “There’s a real meditative quality to painting,” she says. “Everything can be quite mundane; you go to work and do your regular things, but painting is not. It’s a very spiritual thing.”

Both Bhavna and Akumal agree that India’s art scene is not as thriving as they’d like it to be, and hope to see it improve.

That begins with their exhibition, and they hope it influences young artists to discover abstract art for themselves. “There’s too much realism. People should enjoy the spiritual side of things far away from the existing world.”

‘Celebrating Abstraction’ opens runs from October 27 to November 9 at 11 am to 7.30pm at Gallery Time and Space on Lavelle Rd. The inaugural function will be held on October 26 at 6.30pm.

*For details log onto to www.gallerytimeandspace.in or call 22124117.

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Restaurateur Bhavna’s art show opens Friday

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