Published in Crymroza Art Gallery show catalogue, 1997.

Faces, masks, icons, visages of various denominations.Casual, considered or hieratic. Rarely pretty though sometimes romantic. But almost always arresting.

Rini Dhumal’s recent ceramic tile reliefs present an imaginary portrait gallery. Although all are nearly of the same size or format, each item is individual with a story of its own to tell. One face seems shadowed with reverie. Another bears the stamp of resignation. Still another looks scarred with suffering. Rini animates these with varied overlays of slips and glazes. And scripts them over with incised linear scrawls and little squiggles and dots, which comes naturally to her from her practice as a printmaker tooling wood and pins. This brings to her tiles a refreshing sharpness of image and textural variety.

Rini is an impulsive artist. She is also a versatile one. She is a painter and printmaker. She makes ceramic reliefs and has recently started working with metal too. There is no material she fights shy of. And she has the kind of energy and go that this calls for.

Her images are direct and spontaneous not pre-meditated. Like in the case of other artists who use the face or the mask their appeal is direct too and need no verbal commentary. So they elicit an empathic response in the viewer

With such a work on the wall, one can never be alone. The face will be watching you. If you are inattentive they will be prodding you with their gazes. And set the wheel of memory spinning, sparking various kinds of recall. Releasing in the air the phantoms of a lost or unborn world.

Published in Crymroza Art Gallery show catalogue, 1997.

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