Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Asia Art Archives, Priyanka Govil, Samanta Batra and More....


Cabinets of Time Travel -  Samanta Batra Mehta debut solo

(work by Samanta Batra Mehta)

Artist Samanta Batra Mehta is having her first solo show in India at the Shrine Empire gallery, New Delhi. The show titled, ‘The Other Side of Time’ s on view till the 18th of May 2013.

The show draws inspirations from the concept of ‘Cabinets of Curiosities/ Wonders’ , generated during the Renaissance period in Europe. Taking the inspirations from  the variety and eccentricity of the collections found in those times and adapting them and formulating her own ‘cabinet of wonder’, the artist presents a body of work which involves photography, prints, drawings, and installations made from her own life experiences, family history and childhood nostalgia.

The work addresses the issues of dislocation, migration, faced by an Indian artist living in New York, at the same time bringing in an individual language of nature that nourishes such expressions, enriching it.

Asia Art Archive Talk series - ‘ Hong Kong Conversations’

The Asia Art Archive (AAA) Hong Kong has organised a talk series titled “Hong Kong Conversations” from the 11th of May onwards till July 2013.
 The talk series by AAA is an attempt to bring forth the transitions and development of Art indigenous to Hong Kong, before the British colonies influenced it. Hong Kong has a long history and this series hopes to concentrate their focus on the intricacies of local art from that era till date. The speakers will present perspectives and raise questions about interpreting Hong Kong through its art.

The talk planned for the 11th of May marks the commencement of this series and is titled,
“From Hong Kong Art Today to Hong Kong Eye’ -  Representing Hong Kong through exhibitions. The talk is to be held at  Artis Tree, Hong Kong from 11 am to 1 pm.
The speakers are C&G artist collective, Founders of C&G Artpartment,
Kurt Chan - Professor of Department of Fine arts at the Chinese University

The talk looks at how Hong Kong has been represented, from its first survey exhibition ‘Hong Kong Art Today’ in 1962, to the most recent one, ‘Hong Kong Eye’, questioning the notion of site and context.

Imprinting the History of Printmaking

(From Waswo X Waswo's collection)

National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore,  Ministry of Culture, Government of India, presents a show titled, ‘Between the Lines -  Identity, Place and Power’. The traveling show displays a vast collection of Indian prints from the private collection of artist, Waswo X Waswo. The show has been curated by Lina Vincent Sunish, an art historian and curator form Bangalore. Waswo’s collection documents the trends inIndian printmaking over a span of the last 100 years.

The show promises to raise interest in the printmaking and the print buying community and hopes to engage the viewers as much as the buyers. The exhibition has a selection of prints made using techniques such as etching, lithography, woodcuts and serigraphs. There are about 152 works by 79 artists from all over the country. Some of the prints date back to 1917.

The show is on till the 28th of May 2013.

Photography one on one by PhotoSensitive Workshops

The PhotoSensitive Workshop, New Delhi is a joint venture and brain child of two eminent photographers, Shailan Parker and Joginder Singh. Having taught photography for a decade or more, these two work as a single passionate unit, imparting the young, old and the restless with pearls of photography wisdom. In view of this, they are conducting a workshop on photography on the 11th May to 2nd June 2013.The workshop is called Photo-One and deals with basics of systematically understanding light and using it for better and meaningful photography.

The interested participants are expected to bring their own DSLR cameras.  The topics being taught are understanding the dynamics of artificial light, manipulation/ stimulation of light, visual perception and appreciation of light.The details of the workshop can be found at their website, www.photosensitiveworkshops.com  or on +9198100 91751 / 98111 19331.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Catcher in the Rye- Priyanka Govil

(Priyanka Govil)

Baroda based Priyanka Govil is an artist who invests her creative energies in painting landscapes. But interestingly her works are not about landscapes as landscapes or landscapes in art history. She looks for a different experience and her innovative approach makes her works important and the consistency in them enduring. JohnyML profiles the artist

It was in 2010. Location- Luhari Village, Silvasa, Daman. Sandarbh had organized its annual site specific workshop for young artists there and the camp was led by artist, Somu Desai. Participating artists were free to choose their sites in the village. Priyanka Govil, a young artist based in Baroda found a huge old tree and its shade as her site. Half clad curious village children gathered around her. She asked them to collect the twigs and branches fallen from the tree. They did it promptly. The days that followed saw Priyanka working on those twigs, tying them meticulously to make mesh that hung from the lowest branch of the tree. It was so brittle that even a wind could jeopardise its existence. Still it survived the days and the village children found that they could also do things like that.

Priyanka had not titled her work. She knew its impermanent nature. While querying her about the work, she said that that the mesh or the net made out of the twigs was a window to see the landscape out there. The landscape beyond it moved as the mesh moved in breeze. She sat there for almost every day sketching the changing landscape that spread out before her. Was it a sort of impressionist exercise for her? Perhaps, then she did not know about it. She had been interested in nature and its manifestation in art, landscape. I could see a bit of Andy Goldsworthy’s influence in that work. I prodded her with that information. She smiled and said she was aware of Goldsworthy’s work. And she was not there to imitate the veteran site specific artist. Her site specific exploration was spontaneous and she knew that she was not going to do the same all the time.

What makes Priyanka’s landscape paintings so captivating and important, one may ask. In the conventional sense her works are not landscapes. But each time one looks at her works, one could see the places that exist somewhere in nature. They could be mental projections of the viewer or they could be the collective memories of the artist’s journeys. Priyanka brings them together on to the pictorial surfaces that she chooses to work on. She started off her experiments with the idea of landscape when she was a student in the fine arts faculty at MS Unviersity, Baroda. She used long scrolls of parchment and graphite to create installations that resembled vast spaces, familiar and strange at the same time. For a young artist in her university years, personal world view could be a bit dark and gloomy. Once out of the college, Priyanka’s palette started transforming into greens and blues. She consistently painted paddy fields that never represented ‘any’ paddy fields, forest tracts that never emblematized any forest tracts.

Priyanka’s confidence grew as she started exhibiting her works in different group shows mainly in Delhi and Baroda. In a dingy studio in Baroda, with not even enough space to look at the totality of the painted images in the right perspective and light, she worked on huge canvases, papers and other surfaces without complaining about physical constraints. A major change occurred in her works when she started working with tea wash and gave her works a predominant sepia tone. Priyanaka has never said that she has been affected by the political and social tensions in Gujarat where she resides. But the changing hues in her works could be taken as automatic responses to that. It is not necessary that an artist always pitches her ideas on social or political issues. But as a social being she cannot escape the ripple effects of changes, which have considerably helped in changing her works.

Priyanka Govil is an artist who is not bogged down by economic recession. During the boom years as well as in the gloom years she works with the same verve and passion. When she was invited to participate in the R.A.P.E show curated by me, without moving away from the characteristic style, she articulated her gender concerns by adding certain phallic images in her vast landscapes with a total change in palette. What makes Priyanka tick is her insatiable urge to work and what makes her works relevant is the thematic orientation and stylistic integrity and finally what makes her works enduring is her consistency in creativity, which I am sure is going to last for a long time.

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