A brush with Bordeaux
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Swati Sharma
Sunil Lohar, the faculty-in-charge of painting at the Centre for Exact Humanities, IIIT-H, is just back from a fully sponsored six-week artist residency programme at Bordeaux, France as part of a cultural exchange programme between Bordeaux Metropole and Kalakriti Art Gallery.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the MMK College of Visual Arts, Gulbarga, and a post-graduate degree from the Central University of Hyderabad, Sunil says, "Everyday thoughts are an important source of inspiration that appear directly in my artworks."
His series of watercolours depict the invisible weight that we all carry — be it the burden of pride, responsibility or desire. Using metaphors, Sunil looks to highlight individual actions or emotions that come together to create a story.
Sunil, who has been associated with Kalakriti Art Gallery over the last 10 years, says, "At present, I am deeply engrossed in reading and understanding the varied aspects of painting, its elements and potential. I believe that an artist must be answerable to his work. Every action in this world has a reason and intention, so art and expression must not be an exception."
Despite dabbling in acrylics and oil colours, Sunil says that it’s the organic nature of watercolours on paper that fascinates him the most. "It’s like colour controlling the flow of water. Sometimes you control the flow of water, and at other times, it controls you. This sort of a dialogue is really good. And many times, interesting things emerge accidentally," he states.
His recent exchange programme came about after the Réserve — Bienvenue and BAM projects joined forces to implement a crossover residency between Bordeaux Métropole and Hyderabad for a period of three years from 2018 onwards.
Clearly, Sunil’s six-week stay in Bordeaux has made a strong impression on him. Influenced by the apparent joy in the streets of this historic city, his works include the memory and history of slavery in Bordeaux showcased by the Musée d'Aquitaine; the architecture of the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art and La Réserve — an artists’ studio that was formerly a pastry factory.
In fact, his new Bordeaux productions — watercolours with fine lines that represent iconic architectures, stand proudly on vine stalks, showing the real face of the city and its prosperity.