Not devout yet devoted

There was a time when artists used to be influenced by devotion and seek inspiration to paint their canvas. Today, the same receives a tribute from a group show titled ‘Devotion’.

While for some artists this devotion is a mere tool, for others it is a religious observation. Same artists even take the theme as an instant mantra to quell one’s innermost disquiet.

But it is the projection of devotion as a grand delusion that is most striking. All these ideas are explored through the works on display. The artworks in the show portray multidimensional sides of devotion and challenge the way individual entities look at the theme. Certain pieces in the art show conjure up spiritualism while others that invoke the dilemma within.

Since religion plays a crucial role in India even today, religious devotion remains a constant refuge for most of us. Dwelling on the same, this exhibition brings in an interesting exercise to examine the modern intellectual’s notion of ‘devotion’.

Since last one year, eminent artists have contributed their works to match the theme and make the show absorbing. Curator Ira Puri explains, “Great literature, art and cinema have always flourished in times of turmoil and strife. If censorship has imposed laws to stop the common man from protesting, art has provided the perfect platform for him or her to express angst through art. Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ became a symbol so did Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’, if realism is the ultimate muse and magic realism is the tool.”

 The participating artists include HS Raza, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Raghu Rai, Shahidul Alam, Jagannath Panda, Chintan Upadhaya, Tasleema Akhtar, Pushpamala N, Mona Rai, KG Subramanyan, Narayan Chandra Sinha, Rehem Chopra, Vibha Galhotra, Valey Shende, Vivek Villasini, Riaz Komu, Navjot Altaf, Shakeela, Serena, Chittovanu Mazumdar, Ravinder Reddy, Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman and Anupam Sud.

Together their artworks create a panoramic view of divergent voices and views on devotion, not a static one but in a constant flux that flows in rhythm with the changing pattern of life and the world around.

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