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A tale of three cities

A tale of three cities

Chaitya Dhanvi Shah, Dhanvi Rasiklal Shah and Harshil Patel

DNA after hrs


Journalist : Kinjal Desai


Artist Harshil Patel brings to the
canvas his memories of visits
to Florence, Varanasi and

Kinjal Desai

Diverse things have inspired him –
fashion shops at Florence, riverside
at Varanasi and architectural
marvels of Jaisalmer.

Artist Harshil Patel transfers
all his memories and moods onto
canvas through the vibrant
colour schemes he witnessed
while travelling to Florence,
Jaisalmer and Varanasi with
his friend and curator of his
work, Chaitya Dhanvi, MD,
Marvel Art Gallery.

For Patel sitting at the banks of
river Ganga, lost in the ringing
temples bells, is a feeling not easy
to explain in words. “I want my
viewers to feel the city by just looking
at the paintings,” he said.

“I visited the three cities for our
project Nagarnama-III (N3) scheduled
for May 2012, which is a stepping
stone or a sneak peek into my
work for Nagarnama-IV (N4)
which is scheduled for 2013. These
cities were chosen based on fashion
(Florence), colour in architecture
(Jaisalmer) and worship
(Varanasi). They are incredibly
different and colourful in their
own manner,” Patel said.

Patel explains how he held the
canvas with one hand and painted
strokes with the other while on a
boat in the Ganga at Varanasi. He
said, “The boat would keep moving
with every little wave that flowed
underneath and hence I was forced
to apply soft strokes on canvas, just
to make an outline. Once this was
done I would fill in.”

While the colours depict Patel’s
feelings and expressions, his mind
works on the sketches. He is always
found with a handy sketch book,
noting his surroundings, irrespective
of the time.

Dhanvi adds here that N3 and
N4 is a journey in search of popular
culture in India and the gateway
for global popular culture.
“Through my camera I have tried
to capture what Patel captures on
his canvas and what he sees
through his eyes.”

On some of Patel’s canvases,
which are getting ready for the
show, one would find finger and
thumb strokes, in the manner a ritual
is performed in a temple at
Varanasi. For instance while the
first three fingers are used to apply
chandan on a deity’s forehead, the
five kumkum dots are a sign of
welcome and the shivling created
with fingers could possibly lead
you towards Varanasi, if you
haven’t been there or are yearning
to go there again.

“The rays of the morning sun
on the city of Jaisalmer, makes
you feel as if God has laid a gold
varakh atop the city. It is to be
seen to be believed,” concluded

Team DRS

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