Colossal art

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published Feb 21, 2020, 12:14 am IST
Updated Feb 21, 2020, 12:14 am IST
Defying the space constraint problem in cities, seven artists have put up larger-than-life pieces for a unique exhibition.
Sahil Arora.
 Sahil Arora.

An artist’s vision can take any shape or form, but being able to create such work requires space. Tending to this need is Method Art Space’s art residency showcase Spatial, which is displaying life-size artwork from seven Indian artists.
In a first, Method Art Space sent out an open invitation to artists all across the country to work on large format artwork. The seven, picked from 120 applications, were provided with all the tools, right from art material to space to create unrestrained, larger-than-life art pieces that are now open to the public.
For Sahil Arora, curator and founder of Method Art Space, the idea was to overcome the space constraints that come with city life and encourage artists to think big. “It was something that we noticed a lot from artists locally. They work on smaller size pieces and a big factor is space constraint. We wanted them to get out of their comfort zone and work on bigger pieces, hence giving them a location, space, and supplies,” says the 33-year-old.

Upon entering a three-piece 6ftx4ft artwork adorning the wall by Surabhi Chowdhary immediately catches your attention. “She has worked on a kind of printing process where she paints on acrylic and then transfers the print on paper,” shares the curator.

 

While four out of the seven artists are from Mumbai, the rest are from Lucknow, Kolkata, Pune, and took them around six weeks to create the artwork. Once selected, the artists weren’t given any specific theme as the idea was to see what the creative minds created in collaboration. “In such a scenario, the exchange of ideas is inevitable and it is interesting to see how the artworks shape up from scratch. Each piece is unique in its own way with a different thought and idea, and so is the medium,” states Arora.

As you go further inside, you can’t help but notice mythical references in the artwork. “The 4ft by 3ft piece by Aditya Damle has a certain mythological undertone and looks likes a mythological comic book on the large-scale format. It has some character, thought development, and storytelling. Then an installation by Loveleen Bajaj from Pune has taken themes from the Mahabharata and the broader idea of individual choices,” he lists.

Among the acrylic on paper, there are three installations, the highlight being the installation on the ceiling. “We brought a mini swimming pool, and the artist kept that water to rest with all the necessary ingredients for three weeks on the rooftop. It is art, not with paint or ink, but a process of creation of elements and how that has been re-worked into certain things. It is a sort of architectural representation of terrace itself,” muses Arora.

Another engaging installation comes from artist Nandan Joshi, comprising just a carpet and a pillow on the floor. “On the ceiling, he has created a turtle-like thing using cotton that gives you the feel as if you are gazing at the sky,” he adds.
While the exhibition aims to free artists of space constraints, Arora’s bigger goal is to give young artists space to focus on what they do as well as experiment with things they’ve been wanting to do but never got the opportunity. “When we started Method, one of the things we thought was, in addition to giving the artist the space to exhibit their work, to also reach out to the artists who otherwise have to struggle for space,” he concludes.

— Ongoing till Feb 23, at Method Art Space, Fort, Mumbai

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