India’s Women Artists: Swati Kale's Art Is A Dialogue With Her Daughter

Akansha Gupta
May 03, 2018 06:30 IST
Swati Kale

Swati Kale’s artwork is the best form of sublimation. When one takes experiences anxiety and feels the urge to demonstrate destructive behaviours but takes those feelings and invests them in a socially acceptable and productive behaviour. Swati’s art comprises the painting of a range of flowers, she is most famous for her lotus series.



Swati’s obsession with flowers followed the untimely death of her young daughter, Disha. Swati refers to this loss as “Loss of a flower that was of my own creation”. Her daughters passion for flowers and excitement with exposure to a new variety inspired Kale’s instinct to paint them. Swati believes that in painting flowers and capturing their essence she is able to interact with her own little flower.

The death of her daughter urged Swati to make the shift from commercial art to fine art and painting. She was on the verge of a break down after her loss, however because of her husband, and painter Sunil Kale handed her some of his brushes and some oil paints to use.


Her first intuition urged her to paint flowers. That is why her first canvas showcased a vase of black roses and in her original series would only illustrate wilting or dying flowers. Over time she was able to break out of that mold as she evolved in her grieving process so did her art. She then began painting flowers in budding and full bloom stages, keeping in mind the happy times spent with her daughter, Disha.

publive-image Picture Credit: Kale



Over her career she has painted flowers exclusively, while critics deem her artwork obsessed and too singular, she explains that of all manifestations in nature, it is the flower that has the most profound impact on her being. She says that her vision becomes instantly microscopic the moment she sets her gaze on a flower or a cluster of them. She finds everything about flowers enchanting and mesmerizing, they have the ability to make her nostalgic and sentimental. The infinite color schemes, shades, and range of types would elicit different emotions in her at once. She also found that their shapes and styles made her feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Therefore, we find flowers were not just her inspiration but also the source of her creative energy.

While critics deem her artwork obsessed and too singular, she explains that of all manifestations in nature, it is the flower that has the most profound impact on her being.



While her hometown is Panchgani, she shuttles between there and Mumbai, exhibiting her artwork. Her work is widely celebrated and holds a place in collections all over the country in the houses of art collectors, and renowned institutions such as Jehangir Art Gallery and Panchgani Art Gallery as well as Nehru center. Her works have also been sold internationally, and find a place in private collections in the United Kingdom and the United States.

While Swati was born in 1972, she only began painting art in 1999 after the demise of her beloved daughter. She renders her works of flowers using oil with a brush or knife, which she most at ease working with.

Also Read: India’s Women Artists: Aarti Sunder Weaving Self-Reflexivity Into Art

Akansha is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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