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Artist Profile1
Peeping into Heeral Trivedi’s artistic realm
A young and talented artist, Heeral Trivedi, is known to translate her experiences into a vivacious visual language – full of vibrant color and captivating images, distilling her own analysis, explorations and revelations of life. This underlying thought pervades most of her recent works. Her vision only expands with passage of time. Depth of her images and subjects grow and further evolve, as further understanding of reality and progression seep through, allowing the viewers a peep into her inner realm.

This process is juxtaposed with her own transition - whether it be an added domestic responsibility or a subtle change in her mindset – all find an echo in her creations. The gradual shift in priorities and so also perspective is quite palpable in her paintings that essentially draw from her observation of immediate surroundings in context of her personal journey. She begins with certain idea or theme but nothing is pre-conceived. Text comes along in the process of creation as an integral aspect of the painting. It can be either an inscription on the artwork itself or an elaborative the title.

Born in Mumbai in 1973, she studied Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) in 1995 and later Master of Fine Arts (Painting) from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda (1997). Among her selected solos are 'Name, Place, Animal, Thing', Anant Art, New Delhi (2009); ‘There Are In Our Existence….Spots Of Time’, The Guild Gallery, New York (2008); ‘Bed Of Roses’, Guild Gallery, Mumbai (2006); 'Nurturing', Gallery Chemould, Mumbai (2002); and 'Quasi-Persceptions', Prithvi Gallery, Mumbai (1999).

Heeral Trivedi’s significant group exhibitions are 'Amongst the Others' courtesy Osmosis Gallery at Museum Gallery, Mumbai (2010); 'Irreverent Gene', Crimson- The Art Resource, Bangalore (2010); 'The Urbane Records' and 'Hot Shots', The Viewing Room, Mumbai (2008-09); ‘Power Of Peace’ in Bali, Indonesia (2007); ‘Contemporary Indian Art Show’, Chelsea Art College (2006); ‘Metamorphosis’, Asian Cultural Centre, New York (2005); and ‘Three Contemporary Indian Women Artists’, Asian Cultural Center, New York (2003).

Her noteworthy participations include 'Art for Humanity', Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Sangrahalaya, Mumbai (2012); 'Synergy 2012', 12th Anniversary Show, Tao Gallery, Mumbai; 'Master’s Corner' at Jehangir Gallery, Mumbai ((2010); and 'Harmony Show', Nehru Centre, Mumbai (1999-2001). In appreciation of her talent, she has been awarded National Scholarship from the Department of culture, ministry of Human Resources (1996-98), and an award from Gujarat Lalit Kala Academy in Painting (1998).

During her formative years, she mostly opted for abstract forms. Gradually, the human form started to surface, imparting a new dimension to her canvasses. What seemed mundane earlier inspired her to look at life and paintings from an entirely new perspective. So the ordinary housewife engrossed in working on a sewing machine turned into a seamstress, assuming the role of a breadwinner, with more meaning to her daily household chores than what would seem to the passive onlooker. Titles like ‘The Cotton Pickers’ and ‘The Masala Grinder’ explain the artist’s acceptance of their relevance and acknowledgement of a new reality.

Another series by her focused on the theme of nurturing in tandem with her own motherhood and bringing up a child, exuding a sense of calmness, even while juggling with the different challenges of life. By drawing on simple motifs and images, deftly juxtaposing them in terms of both space and content even while retaining their individuality, the artist sums up the core essence of the home and the homemaker. According to her, there is a definite continuity in her works beginning with her earliest paintings. Certain criteria and a common driving force are visible in them. In most of them, she does have a tale to tell at some point.

The artist has been quoted as saying: “I tend to move along with life and phases such as motherhood and nurturing also found place in my work. Each life experience provides space for different emotions and reactions. New things happen and their influence and repercussions are bound to find a place in my work. Certain things stay with you and new things naturally add on. My works may get triggered by media, places, books and also my personal experiences. In that sense they are universal in nature, though I see myself in most of them. Eventually I paint what I strongly believe. I essentially react to the outside and respond to everything from inside.”

In a recent series, she acknowledged the feminine aspects associated with different forms of womanhood – of being a daughter, sister, wife and mother – also highlighting their strong character. These paintings done in a map format underscored the artist’s intent ‘to make pathways for her and charting out her journey’, as she had revealed. She does not want to tag herself as a vocal feminist. She simply likes to react to stories of women she happens to read, grasping their struggles and marginalization in the society and even in a family where their existence is often taken for granted. Her paintings are often centered around such women, who are not in a position to choose a situation but simply give up in face of circumstances and social suppression.

Heeral Trivedi usually starts with the surface, and likes creating a transparent effect, letting everything to be seen through. In some of her works done in mixed media on board, she has used sequins along with watercolors, acrylic, and gouache. Bright albeit subdued palette lends an air of dreaminess and a mood of mystery to them. She relates to stitching and weaving among other down-to-earth processes as well as objects. Allied images keep coming and then moving out. She worked in oils earlier and still continues to incorporate the medium in her canvases. In between, she turned to acrylics that offers a whole lot of possibilities. Keen to incorporate and experiment with different mediums in her practice, she feels that an artist is and need not be an activist but can act as a reactor and possesses the power to express with commitment towards the society. However, art is primarily to please oneself first and then comes the viewer, she emphasizes.