Catalogue essay by Nancy Adajania for “hidden geographies” titled “How the Nomad Holds, Grasps and Moulds the Shape of her Location.” Full text version.
How the Nomad Holds, Grasps and Moulds the Shape of her Location
by Nancy Adajania
It is a matter of contingency. Sharmistha Ray’s small studio in a warehouse in Bombay’s docklands, Mazagaon, does not offer optimal viewing conditions. We take Ray’s paintings outside, and to see them in plein air rather than under an artificial sun in an islanded gallery is a strangely fulfilling experience. The late afternoon sun catches the pigment in these baroque landscapes: alizarin turns to dried blood, jade streaks and agitates the surfaces it lies on, the canvases seem fleshy with layers of paint that throb, crack and curl.