Back to the artistic future

Deccan Chronicle.  | Reshmi Chakravorty

Lifestyle, Books and Art

Creativity on display at Gallery 78 with the ongoing group art show Ashtabhuji.

a journey: Gangadhar M. has taken inspiration from fashion designing for his artwork.

Art has always been a vehicle for experimentation. Different types of ‘canvases’ have been used down the ages to give creativity expression, ranging from rock surfaces to silk, rom glass to synthetic ‘paper’. But, even in 2020, mediums like wood and tree bark are considered apt vehicles to express creativity. The Ashtabhuji group art show now on at Gallery 78 in the city showcases the work of 16 artists from across India and highlights how simple mediums have been turned into spectacular art.

Elaborating on the concept, the curator of the show, Annapurna M., says, “Art is something which speaks a different visual language to each one who creates. The group exhibition highlights this aspect. Every artist has their own visual imagination and different mediums to capture it.” At the exhibition, conventional art work such as water colours and bronze sculptures vie with those created using non-conventional media like twigs, old books and tree bark.

Among the participating artists, the three from Telangana whose works stand out the most are Ravi Chunchula, Gangadhar M. and Awdhesh Tamrakar. Their work is similar in a way that they have all embraced new mediums; yet, the final outcome of each is different.

Awdhesh Tamrakar uses photographs as raw material for sculpture. His crumpled photographs on fibreglass take the viewers to a bygone era. “We are always looking for an ideal world around us but we forget to go back to the lost world in our photos. I used to collect old photographs which I thought had an interesting narrative. For this exhibition, I chose to sculpt using these photographs, fusing the literal or symbolic aspect of the photographic image with a specific form. The work is as visually strong as concrete but simultaneously lyrical as well, as it evokes a memory of the past,” he explains. It took Awdhesh seven months to complete the sculpture. “The hardest part is to shortlist the photos which I want to work with,” he says. “The actual work of sculpting takes less time.”

Artist Gangadhar has taken inspiration from fashion designing for his artwork. “My paintings capture the artificial lives that people lead. “We wear colourful dresses, yet we tend to ignore the inner beauty, much like a mannequin,” he says.  I have really enjoyed working with new mediums like wood and twigs. It took me around 10 days to get the carving done,” he adds. On the other hand, Ravi Chunchula’s Indigenous dreams done with Gouache on rice paper deals with present and future scenarios — where freedom of life is more important than artificial luxury. “To make the artwork I have used tea wash on rice paper along with the natural pigments I made,” he explains. Elaborating on the process of curating the exhibition, Annapurna says “I knew a few of the showcasing artists personally, while I researched and contacted others especially for the show.”

The exhibition will be on till February 8.

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