Inspired by rural aesthetics

The aesthetic pleasure of viewing a sculpture that has been painstakingly and artistically created can be intimately felt in the works of Tanmay Banerjee, whose exhibition ‘Abahaman’ was on display at the Lalit Kala Akademi, recently. Even as spectators relived the sculptor’s agony and ecstasy in crafting and shaping his model, they went away with the artistic impression of something eternal.

The exhibition included works inspired from the villages of Bengal. Banerjee effectively tried to depict the lifestyle of the rural folk - farmers in field, shepherds with the sheep grazing, people sitting in salon, women going about their daily chores etc.

Using conte on paper as the medium of expression, the artist portrayed the rural community women and how their outer self is way too distant from their inner instincts.
Carved in bronze, Banerjee’s sculptures drew inspiration from the Harappan civilization such as the bull, the cat and a double- sided sculpture of dog – which depicted male from one side and female from the other.

A world of reality that is tinged with fantasy, Banerjee’s creativity took the onlookers on an elaborate journey of imagination.

Susanta Das, conceptualiser of the exhibition, said, “Banerjee’s world has frozen scenes that sometimes depict Neolithic rural life or hark back to Mesolithic primitive times. A few of the protagonists display nudity, which signifies his attempt in bringing the inner self of women into the limelight. In such cave paintings, a figure might be drawn over another,
where domestic animals are always accompanied by human beings.”

Sandip Sarkar, an art critic, commented, “Banerjee’s lines dance to the tune of unheard music. They are never a work of a nervous artist, but of one who is always bold, strong and fluid. The works move from dark tone to lighter ones and gradually reach the final shades of white. Sometimes, they move into a calligraphic world. At times he enhances the linear movements by adding shades and areas of corresponding darkness.”

Banerjee who is currently working as an assistant professor in Government College of Arts and Craft, Kolkata has participated in many national and international exhibitions in Bangkok and Thailand. His collections are documented at French, Italian, Japanese consulates at Kolkata and All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, New Delhi.

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