5 – 27 January
“If you walk through an exhibition of six artists’ work you need to feel that it has been a journey – not that you have been bombarded,” says Amrit Zelnick. Zelnick is curating the exhibition ‘Patterns’, which hangs at Kala Kendra between 5 and 27 January 2017. It brings together the work of artists from around Auroville – Audrey Wallace-Taylor, Dharmesh Jadeja, O Ramesh, Shinso, A Sathya and Marco Feria – with a central theme tying together some extremely diverse work.
“Patterns are indicators of so many things in life, from mathematical formulae to geometric patterns to the emotions,” Zelnick explains. “That is the thing that ties these works together.” Some works have been produced specifically for the exhibition: others have been selected from the artists’ existing body of work. And at the same time, he points out, that unusual variety also ties the exhibition into the place where it is located. “Unity in diversity is one of the key elements of Auroville.”
The exhibition also showcases an extraordinary wealth of artistic talent in Aurovilians who might not describe themselves predominantly as artists. “I’ve lived in this community for most of my life, and this is still a surprise to me.” Wallace-Taylor’s paintings, most of which are acrylic on canvas, are also grouped on the theme of ‘natural arches’. Jadeja’s work draws on his training both as a calligrapher and as an architect; it is primarily in the medium of Japanese ink on paper, which is usually shown in a very traditional, formal two-dimensional manner but is here displayed three-dimensionally – for instance, along the inside of a cupboard drawer. “The art work becomes more functional, and the set form becomes more applicable by changing the perspective,” Zelnick explains. Ramesh is a classically trained sculptor, whose work here is a mobile that uses several elements of sculpture in a manner that is both abstract and provocative. Shinso is exhibiting a set of framed works on canvas and plywood – both acrylics and coloured pencil – all inspired by crop circles. Sathya, who comes from a small village around Auroville and works on Solitude farm, draws his inspiration from European painters of the late nineteenth century but blends this with south Indian shapes and colours and scenes. Feira, who is an art collector, has produced some very modern work of bright colours on stretch plastic.
Putting these works together produces some startling juxtapositions – Sathya’s work next to Feira’s, for example – which Zelnick describes as “showing the unity in diversity and how multi-faceted art is, with these two points moving towards each other and crossing too. I guess there is a fusion point, but they are different trajectories of artists, moving towards each other and streaking past.” Those patterns in turn feed back into the central theme. “It’s about realising how many different forms and walks of life cometogether to form a bigger picture, and how enriching that is.”
By Radhika H for Auroville Art Service