Review by Palakshi Dass
April 15, 2017


The  Golden Womb Dawn of Time
Seema Kohli
Curated by Lina Vincent Sunish
February 19-April 5, 2017
Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad

“My flight is beyond a
zillion skies, suns, moons
and stars
I ride the waves of wind
and water
I dive deep beneath the earth finding the worlds of
earth and skies.
No different from the world
above or from the world
– May 6, 2015

This poetryis of a painter, who wishes to fly beyond the sky. Her dream is to grab everything in the Universe into her own realm. The artist pays homage to the Universe by painting the story of its creation, itsmythology and the wonders of life. She is Seema Kohli. In Hyderabad, Kalakriti Art Gallery hosted the Delhi-based artist Seema Kohli‘s solo show The Golden Womb, Dawn of Time curated by Lina Vincent Sunish. Kohli has been working on Golden Womb, for last 20years whereDawn of Time is her recent thematic engagements of it. In this exhibition her visual expression and in depth study of Golden Womb has translated intoextensive mediums as paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photo installation, videoart and obviously poetry, which also narrates her 30-year journeyin the field of art.

There is a womb behind every creation in the universe. Kohli believes there first existed a womb through which everything came to be created and that named as Golden Womb. In Indian mythologyit is mentioned as Hiranyagarbha (in one hymn of Rig Veda). The golden womb is the storehouse of energies that integrated into three female forms of energies as Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati. These energies are the expanding energies and responsible for creation of the sun, moon, earth, wind, mountain, ocean, rivers, trees, animal, human being, life and death everything. The artist finds herself into it, not only symbolically but also to explore the eternal self. 

Each element and movement of the universe connectsto her spiritual study, where theShakti and Prakriti are the ultimate beings. In her visual space myth, memory, dream, thought, reality, physical attribute, women’s desire, contemporary life all come together.Her works are spiritual in nature and feminine in character that honours the feminine aspects of humanity. She herself contemplates into this continuous timeless journey of nature, where everything is static in motion and this expression has evolved through various experiences of her personal life. In her paintings she is present with her flowing in different agile forms; sometimesas nature or as celestial being and sometimes as ambitious woman with the wings or as yogini in meditative posture.

In the complex composition of the artist’s recreated space,the linear drawing blends harmoniously against the use of vibrant colours. The narrative continueson it from one corner to another withthe delicate drawings of human figures and other organic forms that incorporateforms patterns, motifs, dots and lines. One can also observe that the distribution of the negative and positive spaces interpenetrates in a perfect manner. Interesting to see are the basic forms of mandala painting and the geometric pattern which come into the picture of Dashavatar painting series, especially in the handling of boarders around the artwork.

Kohli’s painting skillis not only restricted to two-dimensional surface, but also moved successfully on the topography of her sculptures. TheKamdhenu sculpture seriesdepict cows in bright Indian blue and golden colourswithblack drawings on it. The long lolling red painted tongue, extended from the canvas in her mix-media series Triguna, appeared as the symbol of goddess Kali. Whereas the other work Chaushat Yoginis,a set of 64 etching prints done inmonochromatic colour,is dedicated to the yoginis of sixth/seventh century India.

Kohli’s canvas is as big as the universe,where everything fitsin aesthetically. She involves herself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally to discover the philosophical enquiries of life through art. She trusts only art has ability to feel the pure consciousness of life. 

Seema Kohli, The Golden Womb Series 6, Acrylic and Ink on Canvas, 24 x 24 inches