‘Each night put Kashmir in your dreams’ series by Nilima Sheikh
Scroll painted on both sides,
305cm x 183cm
Casein tempera on canvas
This is a series of 9 artworks wherein Nilima Sheikh weaved memories and histories with text into a visual language that speaks about an idyllic Kashmir as opposed to the reality of it being a conflicted terrain. The troubled land of Kashmir appeared in her works again and again from the utmost love and concern she felt for it. The 2010 exhibition at the Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, displayed nine casein and tempera paintings done on canvas. Composed in the vertical scroll format the series is the artist’s response to the hardships people are facing there due to its political turmoil continued for decades now. Ancient and recent history, mythology, folk tale and references from several literary pieces decussate in her works in a way that weaves the background of the paintings.
‘Hunarmand’ from this series depicts kashmiri people of different skills (‘hunarmand’ means skillful in English) and craftsmanship. Carpenters, metalsmiths, weavers, embroiderers, gardeners, boatmen and men and women of other occupations, whose work inherits the history and traditions of the land and passes them on to the generations to come, tell the story of a place that was once considered as the paradise on earth.
Nilima Sheikh, with a background in history, studied painting at MSUBaroda. Throughout her long, zestful and prolific career her practice has defined the first wave of feminist art in India. Her major national and international participations include documenta14, Athens and Kassel, 2017, Terrain: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, 2017. The above series of artworks is in the collection of the Art Institute Of Chicago.
On her birthday today, Desee Art wishes her more such fertile years in her creative journey.
To read more about Nilima’s work, head on to the Nilima Shaikh Archive which provides more than 600 records of materials, including the artist’s paintings, drawings, letters, personal photos, and exhibition catalogues.
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Sources of inspiration:
- Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams : a series by artist Nilima Sheikh
- Nilima Sheikh | “Each night put Kashmir in your dreams”
Images: Courtesy of Nilima Sheikh and Asia Art Archive