An outlook on urban life
This Delhi-based artist’s exhibition attempts to portray the dire effects that urban surroundings have on natural habitats
If there is no nature, there is an insecurity for our habitat. My entire journey started with my attempt to give space to the natural habitat and a respect for nature,” says Shovin Bhattacharjee (45).
Bhattacharjee, whose studio is at Sri Niwaspuri, credits his brother for his artistic influences and took to art at a very young age.
His current exhibition titled ‘Between Body and Imagination, Shovin Bhattacharjee’s Inner Quest’—it was unveiled on December 4 last year is on view till March 10 at Dhoomimal Gallery, Connaught Place—is a collection of sculptures, acrylic and charcoal paintings that the artist has crafted over a period of four years.
Inspired by nature
Curated by Bhattacharjee himself, his works on display are a representation of his relationship with urban spaces. A native of Shillong, Meghalaya, Bhattacharjee shifted to the Capital during the second-half of 2002 to pursue a career in fine arts.
After moving away from the lap of nature to Delhi’s concrete jungle, this multidisciplinary artist suffered what he calls a “culture shock”.
This transition is aptly represented in his current works that are visualised from a bird’s-eye view, through recurring motifs of tall buildings emerging from circular sculptures, which represents the entire world for the artist. Bhattacharjee’s approach to these artworks is almost futuristic.
“The small wooden cuboids are the millions of skyscrapers of the world. The way these cover the entire circular sculpture is my way of pointing out how man-made entities are now dominating the entire world till one day there won’t be any nature left to preserve,” he shares.
Bhattacharjee’s works reflect on his surroundings along with the experiences that draw inspiration directly from nature.
“Both the man-made world and the natural world are equally important. This world that we currently live in is actually less of nature and more of how we have encroached on nature. Through my work, I am trying to find a balance,” he explains.
Reflections on life
The reflective quality of stainless steel has always fascinated Bhattacharjee. Dubbing it as his favourite material to use while making sculptures, the artist also mentions how the medium gels well with his own thought process.
“The current world that we live in focuses a lot on chamak-dhamak [glitz and glam]. Stainless steel seems to represent that perfectly,” he says.
Spontaneously placing a miniature self-portrait installation on each of his sculptures, Bhattacharjee explains that he feels the need to portray himself through all his artworks.
The ‘mini Shovins’ in each of his works is both him as the artist becoming part of his artwork as well as a symbolic representation of ‘the common man’.
“This human figure has become a part of my style of work...,” he elaborates.
Bhattacharjee’s paintings feature different types of wheels. It is the artist’s attempt at providing a symbolic representation of the circular nature of life.
“The wheel is one of the most important inventions of the world. Without it, humankind cannot move forward. Through my works I talk about our entire journey—from our origin to the unknown future,” he concludes.
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WHAT: ‘Between Body and Imagination, Shovin Bhattacharjee’s Inner Quest’ When: Till March 10; Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Where: Dhoomimal Gallery, Block A, Connaught Place