“The artist is a confidante of nature. Flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him”
– Auguste Rodin Inspired by Rodin`s words, Swati Kale is an artist who from the moment she picked up a brush in her husband`s studio has painted nothing but flowers, which became the “metaphor and leitmotif” of her “entire creative endeavour”. There are several reasons for this passion that some people and critics may term a craze or obsession. The commercial artist turned painter explains, “Of all the manifestations of Nature it is the flower that affects me the most. My vision becomes instantly microscopic the moment I set my eyes on a flower or a bunch of them. Flowers enchant and fascinate me, sometimes make me nostalgic and sentimental. The seemingly unending varieties of flowers with their infinite colors and shades create different feelings within me at different times. And so do their freshening and invigorating shapes.”
This madness about or obsession with flowers came about after the untimely death of her daughter, Disha, or as the artist says the “loss of a flower that was of my own creation.” Her daughter loved flowers and would become ecstatic whenever she saw a new variety. Swati says that by involving herself so intimately with flowers she feels as though she is in communion with her own little flower.
It was this sad event in her life that led Swati to painting or fine arts, turning her away from her career as a commercial artist. On the verge of a nervous breakdown after her loss, her husband, the painter Sunil Kale, gave her one of his brushes and some oil paints to work with. Swati’s first instinct was to paint flowers. Her first canvas portrayed a vase of black roses, and she used to initially paint only drooping or wilted flowers, but about her recent body work she says, “I think only of the happy times that we spent with Disha and that shows in my paintings.”
Swati, born in 1972, paints her flowers and vases in oil with a brush or with a knife, which she finds herself more comfortable working with. She received her General Diploma in commercial art from Pune, a city just outside of Mumbai in Maharashtra.
Kale only began to paint professionally in 1999, but has exhibited her work prolifically since then, both in her hometown of Panchgani as well as in Mumbai. Her works find place in the collections of several well-known art lovers and institutions in the country, and have also traveled to private collections in the United Kingdom and the United States.
April 24, 1972 –
G.D. Art (comm.) Pune
1996 Panchgani Art Gallery, Panchgani
1997 Cave Art Gallery, Panchgani
1999 Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Mumbai
2002 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
2003 ‘CHATAK’, Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Mumbai
2004 Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Mumbai