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Gurudas Shenoy: ‘This break has been a blessing’

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Artist Gurudas Shenoy is inspired by Nature. “I am from South Canara,” he says, “I was born in Udupi, nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. I grew up internalising the natural landscape. Lush green fields and water bodies make me emotional.”

The lockdown has been a productive time for the Bengaluru-based artist. “From the second week of March, I completed 15 paintings. Silence helps me contemplate the use of colours, media and subjects.” Gurudas says he is going with the flow. “It feels like a continuous process. I enjoy this freedom of expression. When I take a break, I see squirrels too are enjoying the serenity around them. What direction this will take, I don’t want to know.”

Son of artist Gokuldas Sadanand Shenoy, Gurudas started off in his father’s Kalabharathi School of Art in Udupi. He secured a BFA from MS University in Baroda in 1988. “I got the best experiential learning there. We were given a free hand to try out painting, sketching, ceramics and graphics. We were introduced to different schools — realistic, modern and contemporary. The guidance helped us develop a conviction to attempt any branch of art.” Gurudas’ last work was an expressionistic portrayal of Hampi where he perceived “the nectar in stone”.

Owing to the lockdown, gallery shows have taken a hit. The business of art too sees a steady decline. But what Gurudas draws from, is the quietude it offers, “It is respectful of our senses. It instils tranquility in every mind. This break has been a blessing; it helps me converse with my brush unhurriedly.” Gurudas has posted his lockdown works on his Facebook page. “I am soon going to have online shows in New Delhi (Gallery Nvya) and Bengaluru (Kynkyny).

Working with various media and elements including oil pastels, oil paints and acrylic amongst others, Gurudas explains his process, “I start with charcoal sketches. They define my path. My journey with colours and textures are within the framework of my sketches. I blend my elements with care to create a specific narrative. That is why I have labelled some of my self-explanatory works.”

Gurudas Shenoy: ‘This break has been a blessing’

If acrylics lend brightness with flexibility, Gurudas says oil paints control it. “Layers of oil bring a transparency and abstraction to my thoughts.” This freedom to experiment is what makes his latest offerings significantly different from his previous works.

Gurudas has also created murals in different media including terracotta, copper, brass, aluminum, steel, sandstone, glass, granite, fiberglass and metal, including a 4,000 sq ft mural. Gurudas is happiest in his aesthetically designed studio where the trees have grown so tall that they meet him on the second floor. “These green buddies are my inspiration.”

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