Aditi Singh | Atul Dodiya | Dhruvi Acharya | Jitish Kallat | Mithu Sen | N S Harsha | Varunika Saraf
With mixed media on handmade paper, from a collage of fabric, engraving on paper, to ink, graphite, watercolor, Mithu Sen has again created an unwritten language of transitioning temporally across realms of consciousness. Each work is introducing multiple elements of nature into it while cross-referring to quirky instances of spatial distortion to invite the viewer into this newly created world.
A darker realm explored through the Dodiya work in this work, with the illusion of his statement shutters. Bringing in the art historical reference of Guernica and the Weeping Woman, predominantly works of Picasso that commentate on war, Dodiya has used fragmented imagery, part abstract, part figurative, to draw the viewers responses to the fear and horror of war. The skull and bones motif, along with disembodied parts of a gagged mouth in pain, breasts laid bare, layered with the military camouflage worn by participants of war, interspersed with victims mid-escape ; in one canvas Dodiya expresses disgust, discontent, plea and satire.
Consume is about the excessive consumption by humans of the Earth's natural resources that were meant to be shared by all living creatures. The coagulated formations in this work showcase this transition of such destructive actions on the flora and fauna are already evident in the bio morphism and the extinction of many species of life on Earth.
Jitish Kallat’s Rain Study (the hour of the day of the month of the season), much like his elemental suite of Wind Studies, participates in the near currents of the atmospheric to summon images that invoke the astronomical. During rain-showers, with the drawing paper held out to the sky Kallat steps outdoors. The drawing thus becomes a rainwater receptacle with constellations of descending raindrops settling on the paper. This short duration of time, measured through the artist’s breath cycles are marked as BC on the drawings.
Once overlaid with a spray of dark pigment and wiped dry, the resultant image invokes galaxy clusters or stellar maps of the distant universe. The graph pattern in these works are hand drawn with aquarelle pencil which the descending raindrops dilute to watercolour marks, simulating constellations. The drawing thus becomes a contemplative instrument that momentarily enters the flows in our localised environment, to exponentially shift orders of magnitude probing ideas of deep space, time, scale and location.
N S HARSHA
While drawing on the western canon in his work, figurative paintings, sculptural and popular arts traditions of India deeply inspire N S Harsha's work. Being from Mysore in southern India, the miniature paintings, the 'rangoli' drawings and the flora and fauna that surrounds him finds its way into this repertoire. His personal biography is intertwined with the broader geopolitical realities and their localized idiosyncrasies. His non-hierarchical weaving of elements lends the work a social commentary, aided by a grid like repetition of images where each image denotes a new action, and these actions are part of language created by these images. Almost like a language of images, where images are the words forming sentences.
Citizen Z is an ongoing project that re-documents the images that each new day brings, press photographs- moments frozen in time, which encapsulate something of our contemporaneity. We live in an age when machines are making images for “machines”. We encounter the “news” on our screens, images are fleeting and momentary. Individual suffering often gets lost, becoming a part of the debris that piles sky-high around us as we are thrust into the future. Walter Benjamin has shown us that “progress” has proved to be a cruel illusion, a “catastrophe which keeps piling ruin upon ruin”. The utter shock of what we see often fails to move us; stories are forgotten quickly, becoming at the very best a selection from yesterday’s newspaper. This series, through selections from news photos that have appeared over the past year, re-documents the extraordinary struggles people are facing using the oldest technology known to us- drawing. I hope that each individual expression “speaks” more than the grand narratives that we are consistently bombarded with every day. I invite viewers to interact with these artworks, take them off the self, and contemplate, at their own pace, the times we live in. For, if we cannot understand someone’s pain, what’s the point of this life or any other?
The far side of a horizon
the underside of
The frailest forms
bathed in sunlight
bend and mend
These words, like the paintings, are not about what is seen, they are about what is forever held in the mind.