About the artist

Born in Mumbai in 1983 Sonatina Mendes grew up in Goa and graduated in Fine Arts, painting from College of Arts, Goa in 2004. She completed Post Diploma at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda in 2006. She is now based in Baroda.

Sonatina has exhibited in select curated exhibitions. She has participated in exhibitions organised by Kala Academy goa, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, Lemon Grasshopper Art gallery, Ahmedabad, Anant Art gallery, Art and Soul gallery, Mumbai and Art Bazaar by Concern India Foundation.

She was awarded Camlin Award at Graduate Degree Show in 2004 and
Nasreen Mohammedi Award at Postgraduate Final Degree show in 2006.

Statement on Prelude to an Overture

The camera has been the third eye for artists for many years, and it is no mystery that it serves each of us in different ways. In the crowded space of my head I often lose those moments that I visually encounter which arrest my attention, and my photographs therefore become an extension to the database of memories that I wish to return to, in moments of more detached reflection within my studio.

My paintings however bear little similarity to the photographic images that may have triggered or provoked the idea. This is because in painting the image, there are many other factors that then come into play, which also relate to my engagement with formal concerns. The recent history of figurative art in India showcases the potential of holding both the political and social conscience through the device of narration. As a figurative artist I have undoubtedly learnt under the shadow of this legacy, yet my interest is not in storytelling but in creating a space of mediation that holds the interjection of my politics; where colour and texture and space also become poetic voices of dissemination.

People are curious that I have chosen to leave Goa and live in Baroda instead. Nothing is random in my life, and this choice stems from my need to be in a more stimulating and demanding orbit of interaction that keeps the edge of my personal energies alert. Unlike many of my generation, the collective holds political meaning for me. The balance of delighting in the selfishness of personal retreat and devising strategies to plug into the demands of an outside reality, hold the tensions of my existence.

My hope is that when you engage with my paintings it has the ability to call you closer and make you want to converse with it. That, for me, would suggest a space of collaboration.

Sonatina Mendes
Baroda - 2008