This series of four pen and watercolor paintings were shown at the Sanaa Exhibition, Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, Adelaide (February – April 2022). The works were shown alongside Australian based artists from Aboriginal, African, Iranian, Colombian and Brazilian backgrounds and international artists from India, Senegal, Kenya and South Africa, exploring and interpreting the theme ‘Home.’

My works explore what ‘Home’ meant to me during the pandemic and the many ways in which Home was both a physically space that ensured safety and security and also a space in the mind.

Reaching Home

Reaching Home, Ink and Watercolor, 50cm x 70cm, by Shoili Kanungo

Reaching Home The first lockdown in Delhi (2020) brought to light the stark difference between those who had homes in the city and those who did not – the migrant workers who came here to build homes, usually camped by the building sites. Now they had to make the long trek back to their villages on foot. The metaphor of the snail shell felt appropriate because this truly was a time when those of us who could afford to do so, curled inwards both physically and metaphorically. For others, such an outlook was more difficult. This lockdown made me appreicate fully the privilige of having a home that was always within reach.

You are not alone

You are not alone, Ink and Watercolor, 50cm x 70cm, by Shoili Kanungo

You are not alone The second lockdown in Delhi (2021) was a time of deep turmoil as we witnessed a near collapse of the health care system. The sense of fear was palpable. Even those of us with secure homes felt as if it might come apart. Amidst this chaos there were still people risking their lives, supplying food and oxygen, ensuring that people in their homes were managing fine. And the mobile towers were like angels keeping us all connected when we could not meet face to face.

Home entertainment system

Home Entertainment System, Ink and Watercolor, 50cm x 70cm, by Shoili Kanungo

Home Entertainment System The long lockdown led to feelings of physical and mental restlessness and anxiety as we tried to keep ourselves engaged. Amidst the anxiety of being tightly hemmed in the main protagonist in this painting has achieved a sense of calm by accepting the situation for what it is, and by releasing a bubble of restless memories.

The birth of hope

The birth of hope, Ink and Watercolor, 50cm x 70cm, by Shoili Kanungo

The birth of hope Amidst the turmoil of pandemic, many of us have learnt to love and nurture our homes even more, realising that it is a space that not only kept us safe, and held onto our deepest anxieties, but also lead to the genesis of new creative ideas and to the birth of hope. I view homes as living breathing mythologoical creatures in their own right, here they are in a raging seascape.

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