The Storyteller of Contemporary times

Ahmedabad based artist Bhairavi Modi has a diploma in Creative Painting from the MS University, Baroda. Her works reflect a distinct need to learn the innate lessons of life through the ambient and ample surroundings which she inhabits. Bhairavi’s earlier works dealt with a filling up of a lacuna she felt by living her life in an urban surrounding, hence missing out on life’s lessons in the rural or village settings. The organicity of village life, the way human life intertwines with animal life, and nature is what Bhairavi seems drawn by and she incorporated it into in her works.

In the recent times, Bhairavi’s works have taken a more definitive and narrative stance. Unlike her earlier figurations which seemed to keep away the narrative elements in a work of art, now she explores works which could be seen to have specific messages and much larger and open interpretations. Taking the stories of the ethical scriptures in Indian mythology, like Panchatantra, Bhairavi tries to align these simple fables to today’s harsh realities urban or rural. In her Panchatantra series she brings about socio political issues and cultural issues which influence one and all, personal and public in ways which most of us do not even fathom. Used as children’s stories, these ethically rich stories bring to mind the ironic situations in society today and this is where Bhairavi’s works stand out. Her works are mostly rendered in water colours on paper and they exude a fluidity and simplicity of rendition and compositions.

Bhairavi Modi lives and works in Ahmedabad.

– By Sushma Sabnis


About the Author:

A marine biologist by training, Sushma Sabnis has been pursuing her interest in painting and writing since she left her career as a scientist over a decade ago. With a few solo and group exhibitions to her credit in Mumbai and Delhi, Sushma has also been instrumental in bringing young contemporaries together for a series of curated exhibitions called Adwaita, a platform for arts created by her.  In 2012, she launched herself into full time art writing and her essays and features have appeared in noted art journals including Art & Deal and Creative Minds, Arts Illustrated. She has been a contributing editor to the online magazine CartAnArt. She also manages The Art Daily and Art Tehelka, two online platforms for art writing and her reviews on art shows, art festivals have appeared in leading news papers. She has written several catalogue essays, descriptions and forewords for noted artists and painters and also introduced through profile writings, many of the young Indian contemporary artists.