Art straight from the heart

The Srishti Collective 2013’ recently showcased the final-year projects of the graduating students of Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.

Culture, traditions, environment conservation, secret sharing and other themes were explored in the art installations, books, games and mobile apps created by the students. From a 12-metre-long cloth illustrating the ‘Mahabharata’ to ‘The Heroes Project’ attempting to revive the art of storytelling through shadow puppetry, music and drama; from books like ‘The Kitchen Cheatsheet’ that help organise one’s kitchen to experimental textiles inspired by the silent films of the early 1900s, each project was unique and reflected inspired minds at work.

The exhibition was divided into three categories — Rewind, Retain and Reform, which addressed the past, present and future respectively. Other than the exhibits which were on display, performances, talks, workshops and screenings of the students’ films on topics like existentialism, religion and cyber security were also enjoyable and insightful. Many attempts to revive cultural traditions were also seen, including a book on the Sikh warrior’s life, visual haiku based on the Gujarati haiku of the 1970s and re-weaving of West Bengal’s ‘shahaj path’ tradition by Rayika Sen.

Surasti Kaur Puri’s ‘Mirages Of The Past’ illustrated the maps of Bangalore. “I’ve been here for four years and didn’t know anything about the City. So once my research was complete, the execution was quick and interesting. Unfortunately, currently, Bangalore doesn’t reflect any of the history,” she said.

Kavya Satyakumar showcased a game that she had designed called ‘Fibs’. “Nowadays, everything can be communicated via texts and phone calls and the physical space is getting lost. That’s why I designed a game where people can interact with each other in person and share stories. The response has been good but I’d love to put it out in the market,” she shared.

The college provided adequate space for each exhibit, including an entire room for videographer Svabhu Kohli’s ‘The Cosmic Egg’, one of the most engaging projects. “I’m an avid learner and having grown up with mythology, I tried to contextualise it with ‘Prakriti’ and ‘Purush’ — knowledge and soul. I wanted the cyclic energies of the earth to come into visual aesthetics. What started as an illustration became a performance, then a film and then a visual installation with mapping and at no point of my project did I know the next step. That’s why Srishti has been great — it’s encouraged us to find ourselves through our work,” said Svabhu.

An interesting approach to the exhibition was the feedback mechanism provided in the form of comment books. Even the visiting cards made by the students were themselves a work of art in most cases.

Vishakha Jindal, a student of the college, said, “The exhibition is less happening than last year but the work done is very nice. Most of the projects have been thought through and ideated well. There is a lot of freedom with which they got to work.”

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