Exhibition: Art Out of the Box to feature well-known contemporary artists 

Art Out of the Box is a unique exhibition where artists will be presenting their creations by experimenting with different mediums and surfaces. CE talks to some of the artists about ‘functional’ art
Exhibition: Art Out of the Box to feature well-known contemporary artists
Exhibition: Art Out of the Box to feature well-known contemporary artists

Unleashing the idea of ‘functional’ art, Art Out of the Box is an event that aims to feature well-known contemporary artists while capturing their creativity to make art more experiential and useful. Around 23 artists from across the country and abroad will be presenting their art that has moved out of their canvases onto items of everyday use: tables, chairs, jewellery boxes, partition screens, etc. 

The event will host renowned artists like Thota Tharrani, Thota Vaikuntam, Laxman Aelay, Nagesh Goud, Ramesh Gorajala, Rajeswar Rao, Srikant Kurva, Bhaskar Rao, Sachin Jaltare, Anand Panchal, Asit Patnaik, Seema Kohli and Sujata Bajaj. The exhibition will be inaugurated on August 25 at The World Experience Centre, Jubilee Hills at 6 pm and will remain open to visitors till 7 pm on August 27.

“Until now we have understood art as something that we put on walls and use to decorate our homes but the idea behind ‘functional’ art is to take art out of the galleries and give the spectators an experience of the artistic process,” says Ratna Sekar, the curator of the show.  

The artworks which will be presented at the exhibition include a room divider by Sachin Jaltare who has laboured for over a month to create this work. Talking about his work, he says, “It was a challenge. Shifting mediums is always a challenge. Artists are used to canvases but working on a wooden screen as it requires patience, discipline and continuous hard work.” Sharing what functional art means to him, he said almost effortlessly, “You use different surfaces, you experiment with everyday objects. Art that is produced should be useful to you. Not only does it add value to the art but also works as an object that is meaningful to you while at the same time serving as an object of beauty that works great for interiors and home decor.” 

Art and Craft part of the exhibition include, beautifully painted chairs by Asit Patnaik from Delhi and Chippa Sudhakar from Hyderabad. Nagesh Goud’s wooden flakes on an iron pot almost look like inlay work. Laxman Aelay’s leather chairs have Poolammas sitting on them like queens. There is the same quirky humour in Rajeswar’s handcrafted box that shows a woman’s innate love for jewellery and the narcissism involved. Ramesh Gorjala has sent an old vegetable slicer or Kathi Peeta in Telugu and transformed it into an object of great beauty. 

“Working on a show like functional art is both intriguing and demanding. The canvas shifts from flat surfaces to the dynamic realm of 3D, adding complexity to the artistic process. This environment encourages experimentation and opens doors to a multitude of mediums. Such exhibitions become a gateway to shattering the monotony of our usual artistic approach. They propel us forward, encouraging the exploration of diverse colours and patterns,” says Laxman Aelay, adding a different dimension to the art we know. 

Inspired by the works of Laxma Goud, whose creativity sees no limitations in mediums, Nagesh Goud says this exhibition allowed him to deploy his interest in functional art. His signature style involves painting Indian mythological stories. This time, he painted wooden planks that adorn metal pots. “The great Indian myths and dramas that tell the tales of heroism and resolution, such as the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata, have become an inherent part of Indianess that continue to have a mimetic hold on the present day too. For me, traversing a stylised figurative, it was an instinctual decision to take symbolisms in these stories as agents fusing into my forms of men and women. They are mythical yet have a pastoral feel to them,” he said. 

Being creative and experimental, artists support traditional as well as contemporary artists and value the need to combine various art forms, mediums that eventually create something new and different. They said they see hope in the upcoming generations, as long as the passion, fire and value addition remain intact. 

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