Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cholamandal Artists Village turns 48, The Land Eaters Show and more..


Cholamandal Artists’ Village turns 48

( Small format art on show)
Gallery Time and Space, Bangalore, presents a group show of artworks by 25 well established and upcoming artists works.The show titled, ‘Contemporary Small Format Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures and Drawings’, is being held to commemorate the 48th year celebration of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village in Tamil Nadu.

The idea of the show is to attract young collectors of art and to encourage sustainability for the artists and the art market. There is also a book launch planned of the book, ‘ Cholamandal: An Artists’ Village’ by Josef James.

The participating artists include, P. Gopinath, S. Nandagopal. S.G. Vasudev, M. Senathipathy, K.S. Paniker, Anila Jacob as well as Shyam Sunder, Jacob Jebaraj and S.Hemalatha among others.

The show is on view till the 5th of October 2013.

The Land Eaters

Experimenter, Kolkata, in collaboration with Clark house Initiative, Mumbai presents a solo show of artist Prabhakar Pachpute. The show is titled ‘The Land Eaters’ and is the artist’s debut solo in Kolkata. The artist presents a new body of works which explore his interest in labour ethics, economic exploitation, unequal social development and land politics. The artist deftly correlates the plight of the miners of Chandrapur and their issues, with the cotton farmers of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra mill workers who suffered great losses in the textile strike of Bombay in 1982.

Drawing a single latitude along the lives and state of those affected by drastic economical, political and social changes, Prabhakar works in charcoal, ironically to bring out a polemic with deep rooted concerns. Central to this exhibition is an expansive work of wall-drawings, shadows and small sculptures, throwing the spotlight onto the characters of a collective, saptarang formed by the Chandrapur locals as a defiance against exploitation. 
Prabhakar draws on this hope for the future of Chandrapur his hometown.

The show is on view from the 28th of September 2013 to the 16th of November 2013.

Confluence of the New

Maya Art Space, Kolkata presents its second show of a group of eminent artists’ works. The paintings and sculptures are on display in a show titled, ‘Confluence’. The show is exclusively curated  by Madhuchanda Sen, and the show displays works of 23 young and celebrated artists.

The participating artists are, Ashoke Mullick, Atanu Bhattacharya, Basudeb Pal Majumdar, Bijoy Kumar Basak, Biswajit Saha, Chhatrapati Dutta, Dilip Mitra, Eleena Banik, Karunamoy Sur, Kazi Nazir, Mahjabin Majumdar, Manik Dasgupta, Manish Moitra, Masumi Roy, Parag Roy, Partha Dasgupta, Partha Pratim Deb, Pradip Ghosh, Pradip Saha, Prasenjit Sengupta, Samita Basu, Soumitra Kar and Surajit Sarkar.

The show will be on view till the 22nd of September 2013.

My Life is My Message Show

(A photograph by Cop Shiva)
Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi presents a solo show of photographs by photographer Cop Shiva. The show titled, ‘My Life is my Message’ displays two separate collections of works which explore the duality in the lives of the subjects. 

Mirroring his own two toned life of a day time job as a policeman and of a passionate photographer in his leisure time, Cop Shiva (B S Shivaraju) tries to capture the split lives of his subjects, two middle class individuals, Basavaraju and Vidyasagar who are adhere to and lead two very disparate lives as part of their daily routine.The photographer captures their transformations on a daily basis for this series of works of portraiture. He also aims to capture the diversity in the cross-section of humanity who live their lives in role play / enactments for their livelihood. One of the actor emulates Gandhi while the other role plays actor MG Ramachandran.
The show is on view from the 25th of September 2013 to the 9th of October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


From rags to artistic riches

Shakila Sheikh, who used to live on the pavements of Kolkata, is today a globally known artist whose collages adorn several galleries

( Artist Shakila Sheikh)
She might be from an unknown village in West Bengal, but her art is well-known in galleries across India and those in Paris, Germany, New York and Norway. Apparently avant garde designer Pierre Cardin too possesses one of her works. Shakila Sheikh’s uncertain journey that started on the dusty pavements of Kolkata, is a phenomenal and inspiring story for many.
Born into a poor family, Shakila had little or no education. Artist and philanthropist B.R. Panesar spotted her on the pavements and arranged for her education in a government school. She was 12 then. But her mother felt it was unsafe to raise her young daughter on the streets and got her married to a vegetable vendor. A couple of years later, Shakila approached Panesar for a job. He got her into makingthonga (paper bags). Little did anyone know that Shakila would soon find her calling in art. “Around that time I had gone to an exhibition where pictures made of coloured papers were displayed. That gave me the idea. I asked my husband to get me a cardboard and some coloured paper so I could start making collages. But he laughed at me. After I created my first collage he looked pleased and has been supportive ever since,” says the soft-spoken artist.

( A collage by Shakila)
When Panesar and other renowned artists in Kolkata saw Shakila’s work they were impressed and convinced that she was a child prodigy. They encouraged her and in 1991 she displayed her collage at an exhibition for the first time. This was also the first time she had a bank balance! With more exhibitions and shows she even bought a house and a studio.
“It was a little difficult in the beginning. My children were small and had to be looked after during the day. The village had no electricity and I had to work under the light of the lamp,” she says. Of her three children only her younger son (18) has taken up this art.
Shakila draws inspiration from what she sees around her and her first work comprised pictures of tomatoes, chillies and heaps of other vegetables. “I also do a lot of collages of Kali, Durga and on women’s issues. Besides all the appreciation, I also sadly get some hate mails for my depiction of goddesses.” Unperturbed, this self-taught artist soldiers on.

( A collage b Shakila)
Unlike her vibrant collages, Shakila is shy and a woman of few words. But underneath her calm demeanour, she has a sense of humour that comes through in some of her creations. Her moods and emotions reflect in her work. Taking very little credit for her efforts, she attributes her success to Panesar and CIMA(Centre of International Modern Art, Kolkata) and is grateful for their support.
Shakila, in her early forties now, spends much of her time creating collages of various sizes. “The biggest one measures about 14 feet x 12 feet. It’s a challenge shipping big pieces of art to other countries,” she adds. And what is she working on next? “I have a few ideas. After making a piece I am always stressed out wondering how it’s come out. Once the galleries take a look at it and give me their feedback I feel relaxed,” she laughs.
( Report by Priyadarshini Paitandy for The Hindu)

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