Tucked in a cosy lane in Nungambakkam is artist Shetal Parrek’s Beyond Canvas — Art Boutique. As you step into the shop, you just wonder if you are in heaven. There are stained glass hangings, mosaic artworks, fused glass murals and mixed media paintings and all you can do is to admire the intricate work that has gone into it. Born and brought up in Chennai, Shetal always had an inkling towards art in any form. Speaking about her journey, she says, “I’ve been into painting for so many years. I had also worked for corporate with Ritu Nanda where I got to design office spaces. I had also worked with glass painting artist Anjali Venkat and hosted a couple of shows with her. With gained experience, I staged several solo shows in Puducherry, Bengaluru, Delhi and other parts of the country.”
Shetal then flew to the US to do an advanced course and then to Italy to learn the mosaic art. “The two-month course in the US helped me learn a lot. My learning in Italy under Julio was an eye-opener. He is a world-renowned artist and I’m the first Indian to learn from him. I learned to work with natural stones and glass. I’m implementing the technique I learnt from Julio in my works,” she shares.
For the stained glass works she does, Shetal sources glass materials from the US. “Sadly, we don’t get many varieties of glass here in India. There are standard colours that come with designs embedded in it. So, I had to source it from the US. Also, the glass materials that are imported are only 3mm in thickness which makes it easy to bend. I use these glass items to make cabinets, jewellery, clock, table tops, door knobs, night lamps, plant holders, clutches, etc.,” she exclaims.
Shetal makes it a point to add functionality to the artwork she is creating. “I make art out an old window pane, old furniture, and even a pickle jar. Though importing these glass material is expensive, I consciously have affordability in my mind. I want to break the notion that art is for the elite,” she quips. Her forte is floral designs and free-flowing patterns — “Apart from stained glass paintings, I also do fused glass, mosaic art, and mixed media works. In glass paintings, I use the base that is handpainted by me and fuse it with glass. For mixed media, I use prints of my own work and design the rest. The cost of the works in my boutique range from Rs 500 to Rs 15,000. I also customise any products for my customers,” she concludes. (Beyond Canvas - Art Boutique will be open from 11 am to 3 pm in Khader Nawaz Khan Road)...