Art for thought: The Apparao-Sandy’s Public Art Project
Feasting on a Chocolate Overdose at Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory, it is hard to miss the abstract
paintings on the walls. Your gaze is sure to linger upon a framed declaration of sorts, titled “The Apparao-Sandy’s Public Art Project”, on the restaurant’s central pillar.
The long-running arrangement (which was initiated in 2013) is based on the idea of incorporating visual art in public platforms. The result is a dynamic space with art exhibits that are changed periodically. Acknowledging the emerging role of contemporary art in public places, Sharan Apparao, the gallery’s curator, accords a great deal of importance to efforts that encourage art appreciation in accessible venues.
“The idea is to take art to the people. Once the visitor sees it outdoors often, his mind and eyes get attuned to seeing art,” says Sharan. She adds, “Once accustomed to encountering art, one grows to distinguish between forms, develop a taste and form opinions about good and bad art.”
A pinch of drama
The artwork circulates once in every three months with the theme refreshed in every rotation. Until mid-August, the theme is “Drama of Turmoil — Mirage of Madness”, featuring works of seven artists: P R Satish, C Douglas, John Douglas, Gurunathan, Eleena Banik, Sundar Raju and Abul Kalam Azad.
One cannot escape turmoil in mankind. Nevertheless, dramatic turmoil when compared to depressing clamour is a rarity. The current batch of exhibits play out this thought. “This show was curated to present artists with quirky, thought-provoking works,” reveals Sharan. “The objective is to express dramatism even though it was worked up from turmoil,” she explains.
The artists have chosen to paint visually invigorating themes to express various facets of turmoil. Bengal-based Eleena Banik sprinkles a few odd elements over her expressions of turmoil.
One of her paintings bears a purple sky with trees painted in a darker shade of purple, outlining
a stream lit bright orange and bearing the reflection of the sun. “The stream runs beside a graveyard, signifying the dusk of life, a turmoil that every man has to end with,” quipped Eleena.
Buildings & scripts
P R Satish chose to paint authorit-arian buildings splashed in radiant block colours. One of the pieces finds a Persian palace and another features a castle, both daubed in red.
Both pieces are smeared in jubilant shades, and seem to cause a turmoil in the background, while breaking the monotony of the highrise buildings.
Take a close look, and you might be able to read what Rajesh Patil has engraved underneath his layers of paint. The Indore-based artist adds cryptic inscriptions in the Telugu and Tamil scripts into his painting. “The idea is that a particular message gets clearer if you look with a keen eye for detail beyond the commotion,” offers Rajesh.
Ultimately, the endeavour offers not just a visual feast, but also food for thought, with some quality confectionary at hand.
Until Sept 15. At Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory, Wallace Gardens and Alwarpet. Details: 9841022477