Worldly wisdom carved in stone

Even if you find abstract art difficult to understand and sculpture exhibitions totally undecipherable, we would still recommend a visit to sculptor Girjesh Kumar Singh’s latest display ‘Often I Miss You,’ at India Habitat Centre.

Girjesh’s work is not another arbitrary carving on stone left open to a spectator’s wild interpretation, but seems to have been done with a good measure of research and thought, designed to almost transport you to another world. His ‘Faces on Bricks’ series reminisces of Greek Gods and his hieroglyphs on circular slabs of stone will take you back to Egypt of yore.

Girjesh, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, graduated in Literature, Economics and Philosophy. As he had a keen interest in art and philosophy, he went on to do another Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art school in Benares and later Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. Girjesh has participated in a number of group shows and had his first solo show with The Lalit Kala Academy, Varanasi in 2004.  He has been a part of various symposia, art camps and workshops across the country.

Girjesh claims to draw inspiration from “life, people and memories” and the medium is his “muse”. “I relate to mediums which are natural and reveal themselves to me slowly,” he states, “I have chosen stone and brick – conventional and yet, unconventional mediums for sculpture.

Conventionally, an idea needs to be expressed in material but unconventionally,
a material provides its own story or idea.”

This thought holds true in his ‘Faces on Bricks’ series especially. The visage of middle-aged, long-haired, bearded and moustached men have been carved out of brick. The expressions – kind, shrewd, passive – are unmistakably well-etched, but the perforations on the brick lend another layer of personality to the faces. The centrepiece, a Greek priest-like persona, is an excellent work of sculpture with a fine sheet of indentations all through the body that gives the impression of robes.

The three circular pillars with engravings on them, and the priest, all hold a lotus each. Girjesh says, “The lotus symbolises the five elements of the universe – Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space – and how the sculptures embody all of these.”

‘Often I Miss You’ could easily find a space in your garden or home entrance, encompassing the wisdom of different civilisations in stone.    

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