THE LUXURY OF NATURE
Rococo art pieces, to begin with, were extremely dramatic and bold representations of a simpler idea, ornamental, embroidered, and intended to expose splendour. It quickly escalated to portray a symbol of wealth, luxury, and exuberance. Characterised by patterns of curvature, bending curves, and floral symmetries, it was considered a free-flow movement of art expression.
One of the individualistic elements of the Rococo period, that made it unlike other art styles, was the lack of similarity in patterns, a dearth of geometric knowledge, and distinct figures on each canvas or material. This balance and asymmetry could be found in paintings, on furniture, sculpted works, and ornaments. Asymmetrical values also included the representation of seashells and other inspired shapes from nature.
Ritu Kamath, Circle Series, 30 inch diameter, 2020, Mixed Media
Pieces of Rococo furniture often had deranged decorative elements of precision. A predominantly protruding theme used throughout Rococo painting, sculpture, and interior design is nature, its beauty, wrath, and benevolence. The bowed shapes were frequently based on organic shapes of water bodies, waves, sea shells, aquatic motifs, and floral forms. Foliage motifs were also common, with curling vine leaves, fronds, and garden specimens. Although organic in inspiration, these shapes were often gilded for artistic value. Rococo paintings were also known to be based on themes of adoration, spirit, and wildlife. Classical myths and legends and lore were produced as part of the art style and the famous Baroque style. The term rocaille came about to introduce work by jeweller and designer Jean Mondon. He published a catalogue of designs for furniture and wall art in the rocaille style featuring curved shells combined with twisting vines and leaves of the palm. The art that exists in a contemporary style is heavily borrowed from interior design and wall structures making them popular art for display at formal events, galleries, and even artful homes.
Easel artist Ritu Kamath claimed a similar feat with her art when people recognised it as perfect for their mansions, art fronts, and galleys. Her art, she learned, was an extended symbol of the Rococo style, though unique in thought, expression, and treatment. Her circular art series around nature and florets started during the coronavirus crisis.
While artists dealt with newer forms and reengaged art arrangements, her style floated towards creating foliage and verdure. Made in mixed media using acrylic paint, nib pen and black ink, her art style has been received beautifully, with questions and comments as well as commissions and requests at the gallery. Her series began with the title, ‘The Forgiving Mother,’ hinting at mother earth, the serenity observed during lockdowns, and the revaluation of our surroundings.
Ritu Kamath, Circle Series, 36 inch diameter, 2020, Mixed Media
When birds chirped and water turned purer, mother nature healed and forgave our menacing actions, even when the actions were minutely progressive.
Ritu Kamath’s art revolves around the exploration of natural motifs and ideas with layered meanings, intricate textures and forms, and pastel hues. The artist has found, as part of her floral series, the need to absorb nature and its elements, become one with environs and find inspiration from landscapes, species and other human beings, being an essential part of nature herself. Her art series are now unfurling into square canvases, with stories of insects and leaves merged with emotional relativity and the expanse of connection with our Earth as part of luxury art.