Mannat Gandotra is a Painter(b. 2001) currently studying at Slade school of FIne Art (BFA 2023). She was born in Delhi, India.
She spent her formative years engrossed in Indian Art, Murals of Ajanta Ellora, Paintings of Bengal School and sculptures of Khajuraho; through to the more recent Bombay Progressive Artist’s Group. This experience coupled with the last four years she has spent in London has given her a different perspective where histories, cultures and voices entwine across multiple boundaries. Mannat studied Art and Design Foundation at Camberwell UAL (2019) which helped her understand the possibilities of painting and led her to study Fine Art BFA at Slade School of Fine Art (2023). Surrounded by painters and other artists from varying disciplines and sensibilities has broadened her perception on what a painting could become. Ultimately, this has had a sincere impact on how she makes work.
Her paintings are about experience and her process is incidental. It begins with marks on the surface of the canvas, then she begins to bring out forms she sees in the colours, washes and spaces. It's a feud between directness and layering. A duel between free and considered. A battle between painting and her.
The painter calls her process ‘fluke and fix’ where she begins painting in a free thinking manner and then in the later stages of making turns conscious. She makes larger paintings as she finds a sense of freeness in movement while doing so. Mannat’s paintings are reliant on her sensibilities in an attempt to make the colours, forms and structures to cohabit. Her work is echoing of Indian Pahari Miniature Painting and the pace of Chola Mural Painting which the painter is deeply inspired by. She is influenced by atonality in music which translates into the rhythm in her paintings. In July 2021, she went to Rome with a scholarship from the Rome Art Program where she painted plein air and made a series of watercolours. She enjoyed the blurring effect of watercolours resulting in airy shapes with varying density as she played with paint.
Mannat’s painting practice involves using a variety of mediums in a way not to restrict herself. She uses watercolours, oil sticks, soft pastel and acrylic. Her paintings are fragmented visions of the time she’s painting them in.The imagery of forms in her paintings deal with the push and pull between maximalist and minimalist ideas of composition building. She questions ideas of the spectrum between figuration and abstraction with every painting. Diaristic and performative in her process she lets emotion guide her. Jarring languages, senses, sounds all meshed into paint. This is how she sees the world. A cycle of lost and found.