Cosmic Design — Shanthi Chandrashekar’s Paintings

By Premlata Venkataraman


Shanthi Chandrashekar (photo on the left), an Indian-American visual artist living in Maryland, had her paintings titled “Cosmic Design,” inaugurated at the Lantern Studio in Downtown on June 2, and concluded on July 2. In the inaugural reception, I talked to Chandrashekar.

Explaining her art, Shanthi said, “Cosmic Design is an outcome of my fascination for the unknown, be it the journeys of the subatomic particles or the mapping of black holes. In my multimedia work, I explore the scientific concepts with ideas ranging from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from quantum mechanics to relativity and from singularity to infinity, juxtaposing of science and art.”

Shanthi graduated with a master’s degree in physics from Chennai, India. She grew up near Kalpakkam, near Chennai where nuclear physicists work, who inspired her. Her paintings capture the mysteries of the universe through patterns and symmetries with repetitive figures representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. Her paintings are mostly pen and ink.  But she also has some in acrylic and some done on handmade paper.

Her paintings immediately bought to mind fractal dimensions and the brightly colored kaleidoscopic glass images under high magnifications to the person accompanying me. He is a materials scientist. A few images reminded me of the transverse sections of in plants in botany.

Shanthi says, “I try to find answers to the big questions in our lives, philosophy and religion through my paintings.”

Definitely an interesting exhibit in town for the Indian community and for others as well struggling with these eternal questions.    ♣

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