APRIL 2021 / I WAKE TO SLEEP / PART2 GALLERY    Netrabile’s paintings for the exhibition, I Wake to Sleep, detail two new bodies of work: a series of imagined botanical arrangements, and Requiem, a series of paintings that examine a non-physical space where energy and nature coexist. These two bodies of work help answer the question “what am I about?” and draw on Netrabile’s intimate encounters with the natural world and perception of beauty. 

The exploration of beauty in nature and humanity has been embedded in Netrabile’s conscious and subconscious for years. Soumya’s botanical paintings explore a field beyond the real, merging the imagination, the emotional, and the ephemeral on canvas.

 

Forging such strong connections with nature, both in its physicality and in the energy it withholds reveals Netrabile’s deep regard for the material universe. The extent to which the artist understands this connection is revealed through her subconscious in the form of a dream she had last winter.  While walking with her husband, shoots and sprouts began to grow out of her body. In spite of any effort of her husband’s to shear them down, they kept growing back. Netrabile recalls feeling anger and the inability to stop this growth, and pain with either clipping. The first series of botanical works can be understood as a way to come to terms with this feeling, accepting the metaphysical plane where body and botany are related. In these paintings, flowerlike forms emerge from the center of the canvas, layered marks in deep greens and cadmium reds eventually forming delicate yet wild ensembles. For the artist, they function as a form of personal ichibana, the Japanese craft of arranging flowers and plants as a secret language. 

(text by Luc Sokolsky)