Dubai-based Indian artist Ria Sharma’s debut solo show, Melody in Meditation, presents a series of vibrant acrylic paintings that explore the beauty of the world within us. The artist has taken inspiration from various cultures to depict the inner spiritual journey. Her subjects include the whirling dervishes lost in a mystical trance, the Buddha in meditation, graceful ballerinas, and the divine devotion of Indian folkloric figures such as Meera and Radha.
“I believe that the true realisation of a person’s identity lies in achieving a higher consciousness. This is beautifully reflected in the Sufi tradition of the whirling dervishes whose rhythmic movement frees them from all worldly influences taking them into a deeply meditative state. A similar state is experienced by those who truly immerse themselves in their passion for music, dance or art. In my paintings I have tried to capture such lyrical souls and their divine melody,” Sharma says.
Her paintings reflect her own story. Sharma is a civil engineer, who has worked on many iconic construction projects in the UAE, but gave up her successful career to immerse herself in art. The self-taught artist found herself drawn to cubism and has developed her own cubist-constructivist style to express herself.
“Having worked as a civil engineer in the construction industry for 16 years, generating artistic geometric forms comes naturally to me. My job involved solving problems by deconstructing the components, studying them and constructing something new. Similarly, as an artist I analyse objects and figures by breaking them up into simpler blocks and then reassembling them in an abstracted form that depicts the subject from multiple perspectives. For me cubism represents a fusion of my past and present and it adds depth and a sense of movement to my work,” the artist says.
Sharma is also presenting a series of paintings that express her respect for the UAE and offer a tribute to Emirati culture through cubist depictions of subjects such as Arabian horses, falcons, camels and Emirati soldiers.
Melody in Meditation will run at Z gallery, Four Points Sheraton, Dubai, until January 10, 2018.