Unravel surreal landscapes recur as a surplus of excess in the artworks of Gouri Vemula. Our sight cannot escape the abundance of lush vegetation that sprawls on the surface, carefully detailed by the meticulous artistic skill by the artist. The artist imagines a pastoral time, the onlooker’s attention cannot waiver, as there are hidden characters lurking in these lush landscapes to be discovered. Concealed carefully within the profuse exotic flora, an idyllic charm of contemporary context is minutely placed, through imagined landscapes with unreal animals, various human figures, or sometimes fusing them with objects.
Gouri Vemula captures the minute details about the world of intensive drawing correlating to the behaviour of human and animal forms from the real and unreal world. She enhances the images after capturing from nature and encompasses fantasy depicting movement and emotions. “Nature studies continue to be an integral part of my life. I make sketches on the spot in the jungles, come back to the studio and do compositions out of it.” – says Gouri.
Her evocative pen and ink delineation and unerring sense of composition, unleashes her creative eye and offers us the glimpse of a dream world. “As a person from Karnataka, the kind of lush landscapes recurring in my visual language may be instilled into me in my childhood. But sometimes they are even capable of transporting us to faraway lands and remote past with which I never had a direct encounter. The works I am presenting in the coming show are a part of a larger narrative, which will be exploring the interconnectedness of all entities in the universe.”
She finds similarities between humans and animals. “One often hears statements like, ‘You run like a horse’ or ‘You have deer like eyes or almond eyes,” she says – A blade of grass on the earth is in a kinship, thus she adds whatever elements she views as the whole existence is a single integral unit.”
By fusing her skilled use of the methods of etching, dry point technique on paper, her landscapes can be described as kaleidoscopes of vivid re-imagination of nature complemented by substantial artistic skill. Gouri’s keen attention to detailing, fervent devotion to the medium and the subtlety of the images marks her as one of the exceptional painters of his generation.
Best known for her surreal landscapes, Gouri Vemula received a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting) from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Art University, Hyderabad; and Master of Visual Arts (Printmaking) from Sarojini Naidu School of Art, Hyderabad. She is the National Awardee from “Lalitha Kala Akademi 2019” and first woman artist from Telangana to receive the honour. Her other accolades include an ‘All India Gold Award from the Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation.
– Ruchi Sharma