Over the last 10 years, Revati Sharma Singh has been putting paintbrush to canvas and creating her collection Jostling For Space. She says, each painting is a manifestation of an internal journey of sorts.
“It’s an abstract representation of urban cities with its hue of colours and forms, the contrasts between the huts and the high rises and therefore, the huge disparity in the lives of the people that inhabit them,” she explains.
“Mumbai is an an audio-visual medium,” she says, reflecting what transpires in the minds — the sheer volume of music and speeches during festivities, the plethora of people travelling to and from work, the sounds and visual stimuli of everyday life which people don’t even pause to listen to or see. “This is the only way I can describe the sensory cornucopia of everyday life in Mumbai,” she says referring to the title of her collection. It’s a series she keeps going back to and finds that it defines the essence of her paintings. “The contrasts in colours and mood of the painting make that difference pretty apparent. Vivid colours reflect the vitality of the cities and the people in them, but also reflect the transient nature of everything — here today, gone tomorrow — like a thought or a fading memory,” she adds.
“My mind feels like a crowded city where thoughts constantly nudge each other for space,” Revati says. It is this constant churning that helps her create new work, allowing her to work on new subjects and themes that inspire and challenge her. Her biggest fear is that, “The well of creativity would one day dry up and I wouldn’t be able to paint anymore, but till then nothing can stop the urge and passion to paint.”
Revati is known for being a thinking artist with extreme sensitivity and intensity, whose work raises important questions pertinent to her country using her art as a medium. Her installations at the Kala Ghoda Art Festivals address public issues like the lack of toilet facilities or the plight of street hawkers. Her recent installation, Mera Desh Mahaan?, questions the way we live our lives today. One of her installations, 365 days in Mumbai, is on display at the domestic airport. She is also working on a project — 365 days in London — with a special emphasis on the Olympics.