An art exhibition by E Ezhilarasan highlights the present socio-political situation through metaphorical sculptures
The art exhibition by E Ezhilarasan highlights the present socio-political situation through metaphorical sculptures
An age-old Tamil phrase, Anthu Naalu Peru (Those Four People), literally comes to life when you see Auroville-based visual artist E Ezhilarasan’s work of art. The 800-square metre space of Centre d’Art des Citadines gallery in Auroville is laced with Ezhilarasan’s series of works titled Into The… boasting his experiences and observations of helpless farmers and their present socio-political conditions, but on a rather positive note — like enjoying their afternoon power nap, relaxing in paddy fields and observing their cultivation. “They are always shown in pain but my characters are in a happy mood. I wanted to show their leisure time when they are relaxing, away from the political and social chaos. I want to question it through my art,” says Ezhilarasan.
Through the artwork, one can see the metaphorical representation of recent political events that left the country with divided views. For instance, a sculpture representing farmers in the form of elephants in the paddy fields entangled in electrical wires — shows how farmers have been denied their rights. Another sculpture shows several human faces. Ezhilarasan tells us that the idea emerged from people congregating in huge numbers despite restrictions in 2020, which reportedly caused a super-spread of COVID-19. “All the faces in the art are the people I’ve met throughout my life, who are in my mind. I wanted to show how some people became scapegoats,” he says.
In addition to these works, a piece of art with randomly placed stones on four legs depicts the symbol of balance and unity and the importance of four men in one’s life and democracy (as four pillars) to complement each other.
Having worked in the past with a language of abstract and semi-abstract, Ezhilarasan’s current series of works with human figures is representational and concrete. With his roots in theatre, Ezhilarasan prefers experimenting with his work. “It’s mostly about my socio-political consciousness and the conditions I have seen during the pandemic — man-animal conflicts and religious conflicts for political motives — these served as inspiration for me,” explains the artist.
Meanwhile, the curator of the exhibition, Sri Kolari tells us that they prefer to host work that has roots and is intriguing. “While many artists are going to metropolitan cities to build their career, Ezhilarasan, on the other hand, is going back to his roots and reconnecting with his background,” says Kolari.
On till December 4.
At Centre d‘Artdes Citadines, Auroville