As you enter Shrishti Art Gallery, you’ll be spoilt for choice. On one hand, you have an interactive art installation that screams out for attention and on the other, you have a hyper-realistic artwork — you can’t tell if it’s a photograph or a painting. The eighth year of the show Emerging Palettes outdid itself with an eclectic mix of work from students across the country.
One of the most difficult times in the life of artists is when they pass out of college as lack of opportunities worry them. That is exactly why Lakshmi Nambiar, owner of Shrishti Art Gallery, wanted to make a difference.
“This show has been held to help art pass-outs from select universities, but this year we decided to include students from art colleges from across the country who passed out between 2013 and 2016. Eminent artists Laxma Goud, George Martin and Gigi Scaria shortlisted 17 students from the 200 applications we received,” explains Lakshmi.
It was a tough call, but they chose the very best, including the likes of the interactive art installation Hair Shearing by Delhi-based Tanvi Jain. The installation drives home the point about how hair is considered one of the most powerful features of a woman.
“The texts in the installation are quotes from female survivors of World War II concentration camps. Women’s hair was shaved off to stop the spread of lice, but the real reason, they believed, was to make them feel less feminine,” explains Tanvi.
So, the artist embroidered their messages onto the art piece and added hair she collected from people over a span of six months. Apart from that, men and women can add a portion of their hair to the piece. “I plan to make a wig out of all the hair that will be collected,” she adds.
Then you have works by Bhartti Verma, a gold medallist from Delhi, titled Attainment. The work, painted as a frame that holds an image of binoculars with a backdrop of buildings, has a deeper meaning.
“My work showcases things that are no more in use, or something that has been improved with time. When our parents were younger, frames placed on a side table were very common, that doesn’t exist anymore, so I painted that and the binoculars shows our search for a special person,” explains Bhartti.
While each of the 17 artists displayed a minimum of two works, Lakshmi has bigger plans for them. She says, “Three of these artists will be shortlisted for a three-man show. We also have plans to constitute a residency for one of the artists.”