In a space of her own
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Responding to domestic spaces — the dull ceiling, the pillars supporting it or the little cornice joining the ceiling to the wall — comes naturally to Hemali Bhuta. She has been an interior designer, a profession she inherited from her architect mother, before she took off on her own, embarking on her artistic journey. "I realised I am not cut out for that and opted for arts," says Bhuta, who did her diploma from LS Raheja School of Art, Bandra, and later graduated from MS University of Baroda. Her current site-specific installations are on view at two of Mumbai's more experimental art galleries — Mumbai Art Room and Project 88. In Mumbai Art Room, the temporary installation called The Column in Transit and The Wall Piece is born out of the space's own history (it was a two-car garage, then a karate studio) and its termite-eaten wall — alluding to temporality, dissolution of space and so on. The thematic connection also extends to the material she uses. For instance, the silica sand used in the work is found in the Colaba terrain.
This holistic approach to art that binds philosophy, personal statement and material is true to her show in Project 88 as well. In the show titled "Point Shift and Quoted Objects", Bhuta captures the sprawling, white space of the gallery and mounts her own magnified and metaphorical versions of domestic items. In one of her exhibits, she carves out a large block of pillar from the wall, creating a sudden, vacant space at the corner. It's a throwback to similar spaces that we have at homes, the ones we regularly use but take for granted. "These unused spaces are important to us in daily lives. This exhibit doesn't clearly indicate anything per se, but makes you want to question its cause of existence," says the 34-year-old artist, whose exhibition will end on February 2.
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