Kalakriti Art Gallery showcases its eclectic collector’s edition with Crafting Thoughts exhibition
The art gallery's latest exhibit showcases a wide range of artworks collected over a period of 25 years
After a lull of almost two years, the art scene in Hyderabad is once again bright and sanguine. As we too waited with bated breath to embrace such liveliness in the art sphere, the opportunity finally came with Kalakriti Art Gallery’s latest exhibition titled Crafting Thoughts curated by Ruchi Sharma. The gallery’s latest collective is part of its dedicated effort of 25 years, where it has been collecting the work of established contemporary artists from South Asia.
As we entered the show, a sense of wonderment seeped in. We found a wide range of artworks — immersive drawings, scintillating oil paintings, layered mixed media works, glossy acrylic paintings and sculptures created with innovative mediums. While we gazed at the artworks on display, some of them specifically captured our imagination.
For one, Kolkata-based artist Pappu Bardhan’s sublime watercolour on paper juxtaposed a vast green verdure silhouette over a minutely painted overpopulated cityscape. The artist took his inspiration from his daily observations of a middle-class life in Kolkata where the pursuit of happiness and routine life struggles go hand in hand. “I echoed the humanistic trait of joy that one seeks despite everyday hurdles. This kind of acceptance of the dichotomy of life delivers the hope of a new dawn. Hence, if one can see crowded and chaotic scenes of jam-packed local trains, streets, and cheek-by jowl houses signifying the grind of daily life, one can also observe how they are eclipsed by a curtain of green leaves emanating peace, joy, and serenity.” At the same time, it portrayed the harmonious co-existence of natural and man-made life.
Artists often take their inspiration from their cognitive interaction with immediate surroundings. In Orissa-based artist Laxmipriya Panigrahi’s work, one would find nature in all its resplendent glory as the artist took inspiration from the green environs of her home state.“Orissa has a lot of foliage and forest cover so when I came to Delhi, a concrete jungle, I missed the wilderness of my state that gave rise to this series,” she avers. Created with watercolour on paper, the striking feature of her paintings came out with the masterfully done brush strokes that put a spotlight on the wildlife with absolute finesse. On being asked about how her strokes are so refined she said, “I learnt Pattachitra, a detailed folk art of Orissa during my graduation days and now try to incorporate similar flair of strokes in my modern art.”
Nature also dominated as a prominent theme in sculptures where Chennai-based sculptor Janarthana R, used materials like iron, copper, bronze, wood to depict the theme of habitation. On similar lines, Bengaluru-based sculptor Gopinath Subbanna stylistically used metals to depict flora while Delhi-based painter Sunayana Malhotra showed nature’s prowess in the reproductive process.
The multi-themed exhibition also touched on themes of feminism and spirituality with artists depicting holy cities, spiritual practices, mythological characters and temple architecture. Intertwining femininity with spirituality, Kolkata-based artist Mintu Mallick left us awestruck with his figurative acrylic paintings. His paintings depicted a saintly, white sari-clad woman standing in rhythmic posture and engaging with ritualistic elements. “My paintings are an ode to feminine power and ceremonial traditions of India held in religious spaces. It portrays the female as a source of energy as she claims the spaces of home and the world,” he said. Besides the above themes, the exhibition also explored ideas around illusion, history, urbanisation and ageism.
Crafting Thoughts: Kalakriti Collective is an ongoing art exhibition at Kalakriti Art Gallery to be continued till July 15 at Banjara Hills.