Retro Rewind

by Radhika Bhoite

Gallery Two
October 20
- November 20, 2022

Artist Statement

My practice is a journey through the materials of memory, nostalgia, and heritage. My recent
work is composed of three interconnected series that express my childhood memories, building
from the nostalgia of traditions interspersed with the vibrance of the retro era. As the daughter
of an interior designer, I have grown up with an innate awareness of constructed spaces and
architectural motifs, which inspire my compositional sensibilities. In all of my work, pattern,
color, and shape play an important role. My process combines both intuition and precision,
where the shapes come organically, and the use of patterns and colors is studied.

“Mindshapes” are watercolor paintings that come from a happy place for me, which happens to
be growing up in India surrounded by early 90s pop. The unique shapes are influenced by
visuals from cartoons, music channels, and other cultural influences of the time. As I paint, I get
into a meditative state, where the shapes flow easily and are organically composed like
architectural lattices in a grid. I explore what the negative shapes in them look like, and what
they could be reimagined as. The colors are drawn from stained glass windows in old forts in
India, with particular attention to retaining a similar luminous quality.

“Terrace Tetris” consists of paintings that represent a time in my childhood spent on rooftop
terraces in India, playing, flying kites, or helping my family with chores such as drying clothes or
making traditional quilts (godhadis). Navigating through those spaces is etched in my memory.
It inspires the lines and forms that I set into place, as if playing a game of Tetris. The colors come
from the moments and the colors I remember being surrounded by – my grandmother’s pink
sarees hanging to dry, the cool breeze flowing in through them, or the colorful sherbets we kids
got on hot days.

The series “Godhadi” is influenced by my grandmother’s traditional, hand-stitched quilts called
godhadis, which are made over several months from old sarees in the states of Maharashtra
and Gujarat in India. I am responsive particularly to the clothing from the 70s to 90s eras, the
fabrics and patterns worn by my parents’ generation, and used by my grandmother in her
quilting. I begin each piece by collecting and arranging interlocking shapes borrowed from my
work on Mindshapes. I relay my own memories and visual influences on the shapes in the form
of a godhadi by layering oil pastels, crayons, and water-soluble pencils just as my grandmother
would arrange and layer cloth, but also by scraping back and re-layering, following intuition and
the emergence of the piece itself. The recurring motif of the running stitch in my work reflects
more widely to me on connectedness across eras, cultures, and geography.

Artist Bio

Radhika Bhoite is a painter born and raised in India and currently working in the USA. She
earned her BSc in Information Technology in 2010 and MBA in Marketing in 2013 from the
University of Mumbai in India. She moved to the USA in 2014 to pursue her lifelong passion for
fine art and has been honing her skills since then. Bhoite first trained at art centers in Raleigh,
NC, and then with the Studio Art faculty at the College of William & Mary from 2017-2019. In
the summer of 2018, she completed the Arbor Vitae Painting Marathon at the New York Studio
School (NYSS).

Bhoite has exhibited around the United States with galleries in Charlotte, Key West, Laguna
Beach, Fayetteville, Cary, and Raleigh. From 2015-2016, she was an active member of the ‘VAE
Plein Aire Painters Group’ in Raleigh, NC. She is listed on the All SHE Makes curated online
directory of women creatives worldwide, and in the Where Are The Women Artists directory.
Her upcoming solo exhibit, ‘Retro Rewind’ opens October 20, 2022, at the Revelstoke Visual Arts
Centre in BC, Canada.

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