This Chennai art exhibition explores the many facets of being local

Aishwarya Manivannan’s upcoming art and design exhibition, Local, explores being ‘local’ in the world today
This Chennai art exhibition explores the many facets of being local

Imagine being hyper local in a world that is interminably transcending boundaries and barriers are crumbling like cookies. The fifth edition of the art and design exhibition, Outside the Lines, by Maisho Studio is all set to explore the facet.

The theme for this edition, Local, reflects on what it means to be local in the world today. Curated by artist Aishwarya Manivannan, the student showcase will display over 100 artworks by 16 talented young artists from the city, aged 16 to 23.

“As a mentor and curator, it’s my responsibility to push students to think outside the box and in a profound manner,” begins Aishwarya. “The theme for last year was White. There were a plethora of barriers, as the students could not experiment with colours. This time around, they had to go out and explore.”

She adds, “As part of the curation process, I took them to Kasimedu, one of my favourite places in the city, and made them interact with fishermen and understand life at a place that is not perceived as touristy or glamorous. We also went to the flower bazaar in Parrys Corner and conversed with flower sellers. The theme helped students to pay attention to what’s going on outside, take inspiration from their environment and culture, rethink what it means to be local in the present day, and embrace the smaller details of life.”

Aishwarya Manivannan
Aishwarya Manivannan

Adhering to the theme, Hitakshi Purohit, one of the students, has given wings to her creativity with an artwork based on local food and the ornate carvings of temple gopurams. “Though I am not from Chennai, I wanted to pay tribute to the city in which I had grown up, with my paintings.” Echoing her thoughts is Diya S Ganesh, who has churned out paintings inspired by mango sellers and bottle vendors. “I have always been fascinated by them on the beaches,” she says.

The creative landscape at Local is said to be a riot of colours. “It’s a lot more vibrant than last year. The students have been working on it for four months, and each one of them has approached the theme in a distinctive manner. Since the age group of the students is between 13 and 23, there’s a huge difference in how they have perceived the theme. There will be over 100 projects on display, and every piece is exclusive. While one artwork may be conventional, the other might be orthodox in the technique, and the next one would have a modern, contemporary approach.”

The event will also comprise private tours and workshops for the deaf and blind community, children with learning disabilities, cancer survivors, physically challenged people, and those from the underprivileged sections of society. This apart, there will be a Parai workshop by exponent Deepan, a live painting workshop by veteran artists AV Ilango and Thejo Menon where they will create art from a live folk dance performance, and a panel discussion.

Entry free. At Lalit Kala Akademi.

June 15 to 20, 11 am to 7 pm.


This Chennai art exhibition explores the many facets of being local
This exhibition will showcase 12 artists, presenting their observations from daily life and transforming the unassuming into captivating reflections

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