Shreya Shukla’s work is informed by an inquiry of the human body and its transition, both literally and metaphorically, often taking cue from absurdist fiction writers, dealing with an almost surreal situation of a vulnerable individual and associated objects. In Shreya, one can sense a strong existentialist concern, and a painterly attempt to investigate the human condition of our times, in constant flux.
This set of oil paintings and a case information chart, builds around a layered fictional narrative of the death of an unidentified character. Jane Doe, who here is found dead in a canal, is a name used often for a female individual whose identity is unknown or to be concealed, and in a more particular context of US law enforcement, to denote an unidentified corpse. Shreya initially documented herself posing as the unknown cadaver protagonist for her own reference, leading to a painterly execution of the images. The case information chart describes the conditions in which the body was found, but in a rhythmic jingle-like tone, in sharp contrast to the graveness of the paintings. A forensic visual quality of the works typified by a sombre palette and short brushstrokes, masks the individual identity of the individual and instead evokes the ambivalence of age, sex, gender, domicile, and other particulars.
Jane Doe Found in a Canal
Shreya Shukla holds a Masters of Visual Arts and a Bachelors of Visual Arts in the discipline of Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat. She has participated in a number of festivals such as Thinking Matter, a group show curated by Mario D’Souza, Space studio , Baroda (2020); Peers Open day ,Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi (2018); Young Subcontinent, Curated by Riyas Komu Serendipity Arts Festival , Goa (2017) ; Archival Dialogues , a group exhibition curated by Pronoy Chakraborty, Priyasri Art gallery , Kothachiwadi, Mumbai,(2017) ; Students’ Biennial , Kochi Muziris Bienniale , Kochi(2016) . She is also a recipient of Inlaks Fine Arts Award (2018), Tata Trust Students’ Bienniale International Award (2017) and Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship Best Display Award (2016). Shreya currently lives and works in Bhopal.