Art Talk

Bold energy

Ashwini N K acrylic  on canvas

The works done by the eight CAVA students from Mysore during their Samuha workshop (ADA Rangamandira, October 24 to November 1 looked much like works by young artists perhaps should.
 Responding to the organiser’s own enthusiasm and compulsive wish to stimulate others, the students revealed plenty of energy, courage and involvement in trying to combine regular art mediums with unconventional ones while reacting to views, issues and phenomena in the immediate reality filtered through intimate sensibilities and reflection.

 One was glad that they largely avoided not only academic stereotypes but even pure aesthetising, instead going in for the raw and the intensely experienced actual. Naturally, there was some dependence on existing idioms or excessive excitement with new ways, some looseness or insufficient fleshing out of imagery and ideas.

Still, one admired the bold immediacy and the authenticity of their engagement, while often the intended impact was indeed achieved.

Even the relatively regular painters strove for complex, hidden intuitions, Dhanya P K drawing sensual moods of domestic, organic and industrial objects and Chandrakala analysing-evoking slightly design-based rhythms of brick shadows amid broader, abstracted spaces and structures. Ashwini N K in a rough-sensitive way captured ambiguities between feminine and canine bodies, the format and placing of her small works interacting with the wall architecture.

In his paintings and a sketched transparent cube Sharath Kumar tangibly conjured a link between the chaotic pressures in art and surroundings, as Rakshit K looked for echoes of painted reality in its coarse sound. Anil Chandran P let one face the changing, multicultural elements of the present in his mobile costume structure, as Sindhura D M with graceful humour hinted at the mysteries of gifts and mundane bags.

One could appreciate Sujan Ghosh’s curious-respectful-amusing-desiring probe and serious play with the ultra feminine attribute of sanitary pads over an abundance of forms from inflated sculpture to shrine-like installation to collages and to somewhat too pleasant painting.

Luminous darkness

“Within site…within sight” is an unusual here exhibition of digital prints by David Davison, a senior American artist and professor of photography (Swasti Contemporary Art Gallery, HCG Towers, 8 Kalinga Rao Road, Sampanginagar), October 24 to November 15).

The best of Indian photography being either sensitive, formally striking angles at the directly visible, its conceptual recreation and performance-based imagery, this very nuanced interplay between the real ambiguity of shadowy or dimly illuminated areas shot in a fairly classical manner and complex technical manipulation founded on the negative effect offers a different feel of things.

These black and white prints that seem to hold not only diffused, richly graded radiance but also dormant colours and textures, exude an intense but elusive atmosphere.

The “Trinita” series, they were shot in an old village church in Italy and strive for an intuition of spiritual loftiness and mystery, for a revelation of the hidden and the ancient that permeate the present but are normally inaccessible to the eye in daylight. The artist wishes to ambiguously bring them out of shadows created by a particular kind of hour.

The images are indeed pregnant with elusive atmosphere, as solid architectural walls, pillars and arches lose their defined mass and structure appearing to be impregnated by space as well as bend with it, as shadows of shapes interchange with actual shapes, while figural fragments of frescoes lie over them, shift or superimpose and diagonal trajectories of hesitant light criss-cross the surface plane or enter interiors to dissipate inside.

There is a sense of auras of things and states of emotion and effulgence spreading and mingling slowly, tentatively and throbbing.

On the whole yet, Davison may be relying too much on the aesthteising impact of the graphic qualities of the negative. In fact, when he restrains the method somewhat to focus on a reduced and more physically evocative detail, its sublime suggestiveness grows.

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