An intricate fiberglass mask at V.R. Bengaluru caught gallerist Sara Arakkal's eye instantly. The artist, she learned, was Sapna Dube, who will be a part of the annual show at Galerie Sara Arakkal this year, as one of six emerging artists to have their work showcased. Whether it’s Sanjay Ketana Choudhury’s figurative work, more akin to a marble sculpture than a painting or abstract urbanscapes by Shraddha, "Promoting younger artists along with the more established ones is a part of what we do here," says Arakkal. This was a cause her husband, the renowned artist Yusuf Arakkal, always held dear - "I wish I had had a few more years with him for all this.”
Work is in full swing at the gallery, with Arakkal and Satya, who manages the space caught in the usual pre-opening rush. “It’s a lot of coordination and every detail is noticed on the day of the show,” she remarked. “Of course, this is always hard work. You have to put your heart and soul into it. That’s what needs to be done, if you want the best – that’s how I’ve been raised and taught. My husband would always tell me to go easy on this but I can’t bring myself to do that, really! Almost all the senior artists give me the privilege of selecting and pricing the work.”
Yusuf Arakkal's work, an oil-on-canvas still life is one of the highlights of the show. This is a special painting, one he did just for his wife. “He had been commissioned to do a set of paintings for Deutsche Banks and I really liked one of them. I asked him to do one for me and he did. It’s been in my room all these years. Whether I sell it or not, it needs to be at the show to represent him.”
As always, the artists are handpicked by Sara, who has learned to keep a watchful eye out for new talent. "We can’t focus on it all the time, like some of the other spaces in town. But I do what I can to give young talent a platform and then watch them grow.”
48 artists will participate this year, includingAchuthan Kudallur, John C.F., Ravikumar Kashi, Sultana Hassan, Praveen Kumar, Gurudas Shenoy and Rekha Roy.
What: 4th Annual Show 2017
When: September 16 onwards
Where: Galerie Sara Arakkal, 156, 4th Main Rd, BEML Layout, Brookefield