(excuse the pun!) but it really was a colourful evening...My other half and I had the privilege of attending renowned painter Shanti Panchal's opening night of his recent exhibition.
We made it through the winding country roads in to Maldon and the wonderful little Hayletts Gallery on the High Street. Shanti's work was accompanied by Moira Goodall's beautiful ceramics. What a fantastic exhibition!
The gallery was buzzing with lots of people; everybody was enjoying Shanti's intense and colourful paintings. Each piece tells a story. And what I love about Shanti's work, is that it is not 'watery'. He may use watercolours, but he transforms the medium - he has complete control over how he uses it. It is unique. The intensity and vibrancy of his work is something you can only appreciate when seeing it in the flesh; sometimes it is hard to believe that he has achieved the effect through watercolours - it looks akin to acrylics/oils. But I think it is the way he works in layers; that slow build-up of colour upon colour, which creates a deeper base to each painting and a sort of luminosity that oils or acrylics could not portray. His paintings remind me of Italian frescoes - each has a meaning, each character is positioned with purpose and significance. It is easy to get lost in the boundaries of every painting - there is something enchanting about them.
I cannot choose a favourite piece - I love them all for different reasons! The earthy colours bring a natural and spiritual element to the paintings, and although at a first glance they may seem two-dimensional and 'flat'...you soon become absorbed in the subtle tonal depths and drawn in to the characters: who are they? What is their situation? You feel like you are looking in through a window upon these people's lives; being a part of their moment.
If you can, then I really recommend going to see Shanti Panchal's wonderful exhibition. And if you can't make it this time, then keep a lookout - he is always exhibiting somewhere!
Our colourful evening ended with a scenic route back to Colchester (via a diversion) and a delicious Thai meal. Perfect!
Hello! I'm Jaymini: