Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

From the innocence of childhood to futuristic surveillance art

Jigna Gaudana: Innocence of childhood finds depiction

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Jigna Gaudana is frank that her childhood memories reflect in her pieces, speaking about emotions like loss, contemplation, anxiety, desire, and more, usually depicted in the lap (sometimes literally) of nature. However, on a deeper note, she adds that the images are also a symbolic reflection of her ‘self’, trying to harness the inner beauty of the soul. The clarity of the strokes in her works come through the medium of oil on canvas, dry pastel on paper or even mix media on cloth. The colours are bold and illustrative, and the forms and figures are well-etched, although the artist is versatile and able to render a soft, dream-like focus to the occasional canvas as well. One of her most eye-catching pieces shows a relaxed, pretty, sleeping maiden underneath the bright blue sky, a bed of grass growing below her almost as if to root her to the ground, or even from one perspective appear to be a floating patch that takes her upwards from the barren, plain brown earth below. Her dark hair tumbles around loose, her clothes are comfortable and modest, her hands are restfully placed and a smile plays on her lips. Above her looms a giant, blatantly pink blossoming rose, its many petals straining outwards. Another similar frame has another girl in more urban clothing, sleeping as if in a cool, underground cocoon under a sparsely vegetated desert, under a bright blue sky and seemingly brightly lit earth, peaceful and curled up, her head resting on her folded hands. A slightly different tone of art can be found in the somewhat more somber piece that uses a darker tone of browns and other colours, depicting a child’s toy, a rocking horse facing half out of the frame, its bottom part caught as if amid movement near the dark corner of a room, visible due to the disturbed state of the multi-coloured confetti lying on the floor below — a vision symbolic in myriad ways.

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Trishla Jain: The delicate interaction of dualistic spaces

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Exploring different compositional arrangements, Trishla Jain takes architectural elements, nature, lines, grids and patterns, all as objects interacting with the space around them. Her art works come about through the usage of natural pigments, watercolours and gouache techniques on paper, rice sheets and sandpaper. Simple monochromatic tones resonate with an affinity for earthy colour schemes, and subtle delicate lines add dimensions to the pieces, developing the artist’s own unique visual language. In ‘Still Life’, for instance, the parchment-like base has bursts of colour made into an effect of oil falling on water and catching light, its rainbow like character juxtaposing with the bleary, smudged, neglected sort of background, even as one lone red stapler inhabits the frame like a forgotten sidekick. On the other hand, in ‘Bloom’, the tropical, botanical subject of the piece dominates the frame. Each leaf is patterned differently in dots, swirls, dashes, and adorned in a range of earthy shades, including green brown and yellow; some are bursting with health, some wilting away. The sepia background serves to highlight this plant, and its tangled leaves that emerge from some strong, hidden away root at the centre. Together, the varied aspects of her art bring forth a dual sensibility — quiet and calm on one hand, but dark and secluded on the other.

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Harmeet Ratan: When surveillance inspires art

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The predominant line of thought that runs through the art works of Harmeet Rattan is one that (quite literally) surrounds people today — mass surveillance. Through this, the young artist also tries to encapsulate how these elements alter our landscape, amid the unchanging reality of humankind being constantly monitored, ultimately by the tireless vigil of manmade machines encircling us in remote space. Harmeet has been trained as a sculptor and uses plenty of photography in his process, both while drafting layouts of projects and as a documentary medium (pre- and post-processing). Materials used in his art practice include natural pigments, epoxy glass, LED lights, acrylic on canvas, and more. The art itself includes manipulating a surface organically, or fragmentation. This yields works like ‘Target’, which contains a running motif of his works — a glowing element. Shining dully in an eerie shade of blue to illuminate the centerpiece moon, this canvas show some sort of architectured structure held up by gigantic drones, looming celestial bodies in dark corners, and a space-reminiscent hue of purple dominating the overall colours. Also fascinating is ‘Space-Shuttle’, in which a large celestial body is shown majorly off-canvas, while the visible section is outlined by the circumference rings of an orbit made by a predominant satellite, ever-encircling vigilantly as the ink-blue night of space seemingly closes in, enfolding. Harmeet’s works also address nearly post-apocalyptic scenarios with the use of symbolic elements.

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Jimmy Khatri: Vibrant colours and vital symbolism

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Portrayals of loneliness, misery, tragedy and melancholia are characterised by the stark boldness of strong lines in the art work by Jimmy Khatri, who plays up the juxtaposition of the central theme of his art being turmoil, handled in a way that comes across as a statement of strength. The artist’s attempt is to depict life as the result of two opposing forces or completely opposite elements — troubles and opportunities — that enable the force of life to flow. Keeping this contradiction at the core as duality, the strangeness of his inspiration becomes a guiding force for Jimmy to create art. His sketches bear the mark of nearly literary allegory and intelligent symbolism. Using drypoint, the sepia hue of sketches like ‘Achieve’, ‘Reminisce’, ‘Empyrean’, and ‘Reify’, are an aesthetic commonality, as is the usage of fascinating motifs that stand for social, political and cultural changes of the zeitgeist. In ‘Achieve’, for instance, a man stands in a work suit with a TV replacing his head, with his mind literally becoming a broadcasting gadget. Inside the screen, a team of some sort accepts a trophy; in the background of the room lie strewn a cricket bat and ball, as well as a trophy perched in the foreground. Resting on an old chair is a flag, the Tricolour, draped across it.  In another series by the same artist, his versatility comes through in a completely different manner — a smorgasbord of colour and emotion takes over the canvas, with gorgeous juxtapositions of colour and confident strokes, making for a pleasurable assault on the senses. In two photos titled ‘Out Of Window’, there is an almost festive hue to a glimpse outside in a small town milieu, there is a sense of a mundane clothesline, transformed into a vibrant mosaic; similarly, ‘Colors Of Dreams’ is a mesmerizing, almost soothing glimpse of a sleeping figure on a bed, washed over by light and complex colour distilled into an almost psychedelic sort of pastiche.

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