Artist | Statement

Manali’s paintings are suffused with the surrealism of the everyday. She often draws on visions and strange encounters during walks in her mundane life. Apart from this; references to poetry, rhymes, folktales, stories, games like snakes and ladder, monopoly, dog and the bone etc. become the central element. Her paintings are about how she perceives the space which she lives in. They thrive in strange juxtapositions of humans and animals. For all its strangeness, though, and for all its dreamlike quality of its representation, this is a world rooted in reality. The birds and the animals in her paintings act as mute witnesses to the unfolding scene. Mysterious dogs, monkeys, pigs, crows….with their human eyes, reappear at intervals. They have very illusive but essentially benign presence. The human figure in the blue uniform, is no one but her, inhabits the curious landscape, with its blank gaze and is unsurprisingly touched by oddness. Sometimes they are buoyed up by their own innocence. Often they are completely overwhelmed by their surroundings. Her paintings are a window into her unexplained world, at once recognizable yet bizarre. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, her works have an uncanny theme of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation yet evoke collective unconscious angst. The unrealistic nature of this relationship creates an enticing predicament, leaving the viewer to question the situation. She is interested in art that is to say an art of ambiguity, contradictions, uncompleted gestures and uncertain endings. It wouldn’t be wrong to call her paintings ‘urban folktales’.



2009 : Masters of Fine Arts , Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts Lo ndon.

2008 : Bachelors of Fine Arts, M.S University Baroda, India.