Bani took to art as her medium of expression in her late forties. But you would never have known that looking at her work. Experimentation, boldness and even audacity are words that come to mind, conjuring images of a confident and truly gifted artist.
But painting was not a predetermined path for Bani. It happened in a moment of inspiration. A self-defined moment of liberation. With painting came poetry. And her poetry is as prolific as her art, disposed with equal panache, perfectly balancing thoughts with expressions.
Experimentation and conventionalism don’t usually flow together. It was no surprise therefore that Bani’s experiments led her to the unconventional. Her creations came forth with a myriad of tools – the spatula, sponge, roller, turpentine, and yes, rarely with the brush as well. Painting thus became her ‘Sacred Space’, a work so titled in 2014, defining as she described “space that is between me and the canvas”.
Bani studied commercial art at the Maharani Bagh Polytechnic, worked awhile at an advertisement agency, and at 21, trained as a kathak dancer at the Kathak Kendra with Guru Kundanlal Gangani. Her moment of inspiration came years later, and her early works between 2008 – 2010 relate more to life than imagination. In 2011, a journey of several invaluable conversations began with one of India’s most eminent masters S.H. Raza, inspiring Bani to explore the depths of the canvas further. She was also fuelled by the works of masters such as Satish Gujral, Krishan Khanna and Paramjit Singh.
Titles are often an afterthought, as Bani confides that her work is impulsive, intuitive, unpretentious and without preconceptions. It’s no surprise therefore that her works are often first ‘emotive’ and later ‘visual’ in their appeal. One can almost relive the sense of liberation that the artist herself experienced while creating it. She expresses it best through one of her several poems:
What do the people of this world understand?
Put on the wings of love and see for yourself!
No one can stop your flight of soaring like an eagle.
Bani has held several exhibitions of her work across India and overseas:
- SOLO – WORDS UNSPOKEN. Open Palm Court, IHC 2015. Curated by Geeti Sen
- RESIST by Engendered in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. January, April & May 2013
- ART THROUGH LIGHT at SGFA Hyderabad. June 2013.
- THE ABSTRACTION OF MYTH AND MEMORY at the Open Palm Court IHC. March 2013.
- ARTE EN BHUTAN Nehru-Wanhchuck Cultural Centre Embassy of India, Bhutan. July 2013.
- TRANSITIONS RECYCLED group show by Art Konsult, New Delhi.
- SPANDAN VADODARA. May 2014.
- SHRIDHARNI ART GALLERY, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, May 2014.
- Work displayed at Gallery Ganesh and Art Konsult, New Delhi.