Chhatris are the raised onion-domed pavilions found throughout India. Often ornate, intricately carved or painted, chhatris are a defining element of North Indian architecture, incorporating Hindu and Moghul design, and especially evocative of the culture of Rajasthan. For Natasha Kumar they are a constant inspiration for her work.
The abstraction of shape and choice of colour is important, in particular The Royal Chhatris Series began after numerous return trips to capture these monumental canopied wonders by using drypoint and etching. She wanted to capture the architectural space and perspective, the onion domes and the decorative pillars but the latest series is an exciting mix and balance of colour offset against colour. Her palette is bravely laid.
More than simply picturesque India Natasha Kumar responds to the culture of India, through the architectural forms and the vivid hypnotising colours and moods of modern India. They bring us the heady mix of traditional and historical of Islamic and mughal and modern and physical – actual and abstract – elemental . The kind of art that is both beautiful, decorative and substantial.
The handprints symbolize the women who had performed (Jauhar) Sati, when after defeat in battle the women would rather commit suicide than risk violation of their honour by the enemy. The memory of their supreme sacrifice is kept alive today by the worship and gloification of the actual handprints in the fort wall.