Uncovering ‘Tales of Two Cities’ in art
Six artists from two cities – busy, crowded Ahmedabad and of our Goa come together in a multi-threaded exhibition titled, ‘Tales of Two Cities’ to be showcased at Project Café. NT BUZZ gets you the details
Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
Six artists from Ahmedabad and Goa- Alpesh J Dave, Manish Modi, and Purvi Parmar ( Ahmedabad) and Liesl Cotta De Souza, Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal, and Laila Vaziralli (Goa) are all set to tell their stories, through diverse media – using watercolour, oil, colour pencil, thread and even newsprint at Project Café, Assagao. The show which opens on March 1 has been curated by Kirti Parihar (Ahmedabad) and Samira Sheth (Goa).
“The flow of people, the generation and regeneration of ideas and ways of expression lead to a constantly changing artistic landscape. Multiple creative possibilities unravel from a host of works that surprise and delight, provoke and disturb. These unique forms of expression are the stories we want to tell,” says Sheth.
“Every city carries a history in its heart, and its soul is weaved of the stories from the past. The culture of a city is woven into the thread of the tales and narrated in different mediums so as to create a language of their own,” adds Parihar. She further states that the exhibition narrates the tales of these two vibrant yet culturally different cities in such a way that the final artwork looks harmonious and in sync with the exhibition theme. “The narrative artworks are a perfect amalgamation of colour and thread on canvas, wood and paper,” she says.
In the exhibition, Alpesh pays tribute to iconic artists René Magritte, Salvador Dali and Jackson Pollock, all known to challenge observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. He deftly uses thread to experiment with perception himself, in a tiny work in which the protagonist sees the world underwater. In another, he plays with light and colour through thread, leaving multiple threads hanging to hint at the constantly evolving and therefore unfinished state of an artist’s ideas.
Goan artist Liesl Cotta De Souza, best known for her paintings in thread, takes on the task of painting women as they go about their work and play, through embroidery. Layered in colour, perspective and emotion, these are everyday stories of struggle and pleasure, painted in repetitive and meditative stitches.
Born to a family of newspaper merchants, Manish is both familiar with and inspired by the power of print media and its workings. He takes newsprint as background to explore imagery that is both pleasing and provocative in turn– addressing contemporary issues such as politics, misuse of power, freedom of speech and more. As these types of media are superseded by newer media his work acts as a reminder of times gone by.
Ideas of the diversity of nature and the importance of preserving it also come to mind as animals loom large in Purvi Parmar’s paintings. The young artist creates space for her ‘self’ in imagined worlds she can escape to atop the bustling Ahmedabad. She images sheep, a couple of slender deer and a peacock in full form as central figures in these fantastical universes created by her. “I use the cityscape in my works as a landscape. Nowadays infrastructure has developed so much and people have lost their own feelings, their own choices. In these works I am standing upon this world and enjoying my space,” she says.
Laila Vaziralli’s body of work is inspired by the longing for coexistence between humans and our environment. “The playful, surreal, watercolours draw from Goa’s beautiful monsoon that makes everything comes alive both within its inhabitants and its surroundings,” she says. In some pieces, the human body is seen as a surreal extension of plants, flowers, and the universe.
Nature is sacrosanct and should be protected and worshipped. As guardians and custodians of nature, humanity is in need of protection itself. Ideas of the sacred abound in Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal’s portraits of Gods and Goddesses of Goa. Strongly rooted in Goa, Sonia invokes the spirit of its Shree Shantadurga and Shri Ramnath for succour.
With their highly individualistic thought process, each artist presents a story worth heeding. Sheth says, “Even though they seem such disparate stories one realises that everything is indeed connected –– somehow all these visuals coalesce to bring very different tales from two very different places to life.”
(The show will be open for viewing till April 15, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)