Usha dapur Kar is an emerging artist based in Oxford. Largely self-taught in her early years, she signed up for the locally based Warehouse Art School’s continuing development course and unearthed a passion to create concept driven installations and paintings combining, or moving between, abstraction and representation. Her work was selected on both submissions for the OVADA seven Counties Open and she has exhibited large scale installations in three WAS shows.
Usha was enthralled as a child by the work of Arthur Rackham. His sprites, faeries and tree spirits ignited the possibility of other life and energies darting around her during walks in her native London, in Epping Forest, or skimming across the water as she floated lazily on the River Lea. In more isolated times there was comfort in the sense that objects may have presence and spirit. Later visits to her paternal India, with the magical dawn and heady dusk, intensified this sense of possibility.
These animistic threads weave through Usha’s practice. Ancient presences emanate their burdens, mangoes leap with their own energy, letters fly with intention, a bowl falls tipped by an unseen force, fingernails creep along like cockroaches, bird-like shapes murmurate. An orange shape asserts itself, retaining its glow against all the odds.
Usha’s intention is to link the deeply personal with the universal, even spiritual. Without being directive, she hopes her work will resonate with the viewer at these levels. Her work offers a vision some may find serene and accepting and others may find bare, bleak or even post-apocalyptic. But always, with a sense that there are unseen, sanguine, comforting possibilities brushing past, quietly germinating, or wildly dancing around us.
2022 exhibition: Ferocious Grace.