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A Shamans World
Intuitive, highly complex and intricate maybe a way to describe ‘Shamanic Vision Art’, an art exhibition which includes 12 paintings, by Sohela Dabiri, currently on display at Resort Laguna, Anjuna. Inspired by Shamanism, one of the oldest oldest divinatory practices in the world, a shaman is a practitioner that seeks to elicit a shift from ordinary awareness into an altered or trance state with an intention to heal, divine, contact the dead or plead for guidance .This relationship is executed with the help of an ally who acts as an intermediary between different levels of reality and the shaman.
“The Shamanic theme comes from ancient cultures where the Shaman was the spiritual head of the tribe as well as healer,” says Sohela. She further elaborates, “It is just a spontaneous expression from within me. The life forms and creatures that emerge are a spontaneous emanation of life; I see them as benevolent creations from life and inner worlds. In fact, I do not name my paintings until after they are finished and there is comprehension. Rather than creating something definite, I feel as if my art is channeled from deep within me.”
A style definitive for the bold usage of black and white through the medium of ink, Sohela believes that one complements the other; therefore there cannot be one without the other. “I started by using black and white, and I now feel urged to move on to colors. I do use a lot of circles. Points become lines, and closing the lines become the circles I use. The circle comes into existence as a living cell, and the cells together form life. The exhibition also includes several motifs of Indian origin like the interpretation of Goddess Kali and the Shiv Ling.
Bold and intense, Sohela’s intense quality of art is a powerful expression of herself. “I have never labeled myself as an artist any more than any artist has, or for that matter any child that draws or paints does,” Sohela reveals.
Born in Iran, Sohela grew up and was educated in Germany in the Hannover FH School in the discipline of free art. However, she decided to drop out of the same before concluding her education even after winning several prizes and establishing herself in concept art. “I was in the 15th semester in Free Art at the Hannover FH School when I dropped out. I felt that though it was supposed to be free art, it really was not. There was a certain discipline and language (in which I did become proficient), but which my other friends and family who were not attuned to the art world could not relate to. Moreover I myself felt that this was not a spontaneous medium of expression for me. For years thereafter I did no work as such in art, except for Art Performances which seemed more true to me,” says Sohela.
Her creative sojourns then brought her to India, where her quest to experience ancient knowledge, cultures, yoga, tribal wisdom, and later the healing practices like Reiki, revived her spirit and opened the floodgates of her creative energies. She says, “I just naturally started drawing again. The sight of the Spiti Valley gave me such awesome insight. The natural beauty and power of the monsoon was a big inspiration. In a way it was a healing and
evolution of myself.”