This Artist Uses Elements of Psychology and Faith in Her Paintings

Abstract painter and pranic healer Sahaya Sharma infuses her work with psychological nuances and her desire to heal the world.

By Manvi Pant

The deeper message of Sahaya Sharma’s art is that “we are all interconnected”, and as the young Delhi-based artist grows in influence among the affluent classes of Delhi and Mumbai, she also spreads the essence of all the psychological and spiritual gyaan she has acquired through her journey as an artist and pranic healer. “I seek to heal people through my art and my colours,” she says.

Born to intensely creative parents, art made an early entry in Sahaya’s life. Her mother is a fashion designer who runs indie clothing label Sabina Thakran, and her father a musician who has a band called Sharad and the Sinners that performs classic blues and rock and roll tunes. Born in Delhi, Sahaya spent her early childhood at the prestigious Vasant Valley School in the capital, moving to Welham Girls’ School in Dehradun in her teens. Later, she did her Bachelor’s in fine arts at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore.

Sahaya-Sharma-Jageshwar-Temple-Diptych-3&4In 2014, soon after graduating, Sahaya discovered pranic healing. “Meditation changed my headspace. The best example I could use to describe its effect is that it creates a shield of healthy indifference around you – ethericly and mentally – where negative thoughts and feelings both internally and externally arrive but do not persist. They bounce off and are replaced with love and kindness,” she says.

An abstract artist, Sahaya’s brush with pranic healing influenced her creative process as well. “Pranic healing is about the science of energy and so are my paintings. Colour is energy and being an abstractionist who deals with colour, for me it is all about understanding various colours through their vibrations and frequencies and grasping their tone, hue, movement, contrast and physiological effects on the human body,” she explains.

She goes on, “Pranic healing has also taught me the art of silencing, an important element in observing when and if a painting is complete and how to mute out the noise of unnecessary elements – a process that can be a little tricky since I use a maximalist technique for various entry and exit points in an artwork.”

Sahaya-Sharma-Vitthala-Temple-1Essentially, Sahaya’s art is an extension of how she copes, understands or fantasises about life. “While the creation process is extremely personal, the concept notes I place next to my works allow viewers to really enter my works and understand what was going on behind the scenes,” she explains. A painting can be over within a week, 10 days or something that she keeps building up in layers over a year, she goes on. “Recently, I’ve cracked this technique using oil, enamel, acrylic paint and spray paint to create mythical landscapes that you can drown in on fly over!”

Popular on Instagram, Sahaya’s patrons include the Ambuja Neotia Group, Tahiliani Homes, The Thapar Group, The Akoi Group, and many other top corporate houses, besides Delhi’s old and illustrious families. She has also done commissioned paintings for a law firm in Delhi and a restaurant in Chandigarh. “I wish for my works to adorn the walls of Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt’s home someday!” gushes the young woman.

Sahaya-Sharma-Vitthala-Temple-2Sahaya is currently working on her Structure of Faith series, which she says was born out of the need to belong, to feel rooted, grounded, whole and calm. “One day, I happened to go through a Kodak family album from the 1990s. The pictures were from a trip my parents took with their friends in February 1992 to the Jageshwar Temples, a group of 100 Hindu temples in Nagara style of architecture dating between the seventh and 12th century near Almora in the Himalayan Indian state of Uttarakhand. My mother was six months pregnant with me at the time.”

Sahaya felt “an immediate need to capture this moment in a more objective sense through mixed media paintings.” She Photoshopped the sky and land out of the Kodak pictures, and transported them to another dimension with the help of enamel, oil, acrylic and spray paint. “I believe temples are spaces that carry the energy of faith.” As an artist with an intuitive touch, Sahaya’s work takes you into mesmerising realms of both energy and faith.

First published in eShe’s January 2020 issue

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