In the Forests of the Night

by Team ACF
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Art Alive Gallery


In the Forests of the Night

Works by Tara Sabharwal

2014 – 2023

Curated By: Jesal Thacker

Preview: Friday, 8th December, 2023

The show will be on view till 15th December, 2023 Venue: Living Traditions Center, Bikaner House

Art Alive Gallery brings to you In the Forests of the Night, Curated By: Jesal Thacker, a solo show of Tara Sabharwal featuring works from 2014 to 2023. This show is part of the third edition of Delhi Art Week.

Curator’s Note:

The title of the exhibition featuring Tara Sabharwal’s works spanning a decade, is taken from William Blake’s famous poem, The Tyger. Although the focus of the poem surrounds the elusive and mysterious characteristics of the tiger it also questions its ferocious quality. Does creation need to be wild and untamed or is it expressed only through and as the sublime? What is the purpose of creation and how do these extremes play out within the psyche of an artist.

In the Forests of the Night, takes off from this very enquiry of observing the process of creativity and abstraction that emerges from the subliminal. Psychologists employ the term to mean below the threshold of consciousness. A plane of being that absorbs all experiences, just as the way night absorbs all light or black absorbs all colour. A perceptive space that dissolves light and shadow into a mythic experience of the subliminal, that Leonard Mlodinow an American theoretical physicist and mathematician, terms as the new unconsciousness.

Tara Sabharwal’s abstraction is a walk into the forests of the night, where the cognitive faculties are refined to suit more than one purpose. In manner where the auditory, olfactory and tactile faculties chart the map of envisioning the way into the forest, that metaphorically represents the subliminal. Each of the series presented in the exhibition are mnemonic patterns bridging the worlds of the new unconsciousness to the conscious. Unlike abstraction that derives from minimalizing nature/landscape, or an abstraction that is composed through the notations of sound and music, or an abstraction that reflects the memory of a place; Tara’s abstraction blurs all conscious

attempts of reality and presents the invisible roots that governs conscious-visible existence.

Every seed has the potential of growing into a tree, and how is one to express that potential within the seed, without seeing the tree? As a practitioner of Buddhist meditative discipline and a transcriber of her own dreams, Tara navigates through layers of consciousness expressing its extremes, and at times plunging into the subliminal void from which emerges all possibilities. The exhibition thus traces the antithesis, as well as the probabilities of chance, expressed through textural patterns, splurges of colour and an architectonic of shapes. An undefined composition and uncertainty upholds these abstractions. Unwilling to be defined through any specific language or aesthetics, she carefully orchestrates a chance aesthetics from the subliminal.

–     Jesal Thacker, Curator Tara Sabharwal

Born in Delhi in 1957, Tara Sabharwal is a contemporary Indian artist who studied painting at the MS University, Baroda, and received her Masters from the Royal College of Art in London. Her subtly layered compositions employ dreams and memories to create powerful abstract forms informed by surreal imagery combined with a variety of art materials ranging from watercolors, pastels, ink, collage and found objects. She has exhibited her work globally including in London, France, Germany, New York, and India over the last four decades. She has also received several awards including the British Council, Durham Cathedral, Myles Meehan and Royal overseas League in the UK; and the Henry Street, Joan Mitchell (CALL) and Gottlieb awards in the USA.

Tara has been deeply involved in philosophy, psychology and spirituality for over a decade. Among others, she has participated in seminars on Art philosophy and architecture at Columbia University, Advaita Vedanta study groups and several Jungian psychology courses and meditation retreats at the Barre center for Buddhist studies, Massachusetts; She maintains a Korean Zen practice at Chogyesa in New York City.

Her teaching experiences include teaching painting at Newcastle and Sunderland Art colleges in the UK and Women’s Studio Workshop (NY), Cooper Union, Studio in a School, CUNY, Blackburn Printshop, Rubin and Guggenheim Museum in NYC. She has also done residencies in HISHIO (Japan), Scuola Internationale (Italy), Atelier Beisinghoff (Germany), Guanlan Printbase (China), Women’s Studio Workshop (NY), Cooper Union (NYC), MASSMoCA (MA) and the Constellation Studios (NE) in the US and Vermont Studio Center (VA).

Tara Sabharwal’s work is in the collection of the British, the Victoria and Albert and DLI Museums in the UK; and the Peabody Essex, Boston, Museum of Nebraskan Art, Nebraska, The New York Public Library, NYC and the Library of Congress, Washington D.C in the USA.

She lives and works in the United States of America.

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