There is a contemplative stillness and tranquillity about the paintings which at first belies the complex interplay of emotions and relationships between the figures. Both together and alone, the figures gaze wide-eyed into space, or appear to reflect inwardly. They hold our attention with a solemn grandeur, whether in a room or outside, their surroundings are free from distracting detail. The simplicity of their settings suggests that they could be anywhere - in many places all at once, both real and imagined. They have therefore a timeless quality which gives them universal appeal. The figures tend not to make eye contact with one another; they look away, do not overtly connect, suggesting a subtle tension or deep emotions beneath the surface.


Over the years, Shanti has developed a distinctive approach to the watercolour medium. The paintings are created slowly and meditatively, over a long period, on thick, textured paper which, through sturdy application and scraping, soaks up the pigment. Colour is loaded onto the surface, building up wash upon wash, and colours are mixed there, rather than on a palette. This method gives the colours fresco-like depth and intensity. Paint does not simply sit on the surface but permeates the entire thickness of the paper and becomes a vibrant part of it.