A strong creative breeze seems to be blowing across Chennai with leading art galleries of the city presenting art and craft expressions in their pristine forms or in a ‘melting confluence.’ “The idea,” as artist Sunil Sri puts it, “is mentally executed by the artist and the actual implementation done by the artisan”.

Here is a celebration of art and craft forms some of which go back 3000 years in continuum, some as fresh as today: of sthapathi Vidyashankar who handcrafts both a timeless Chola Nataraja and a contemporary man-woman tantric composition with equal ease, of a weaving together of the folk, tribal and classical, the abstract and the futuristic.

The series of exhibitions is jointly organised by the World Craft Council and individual art galleries as part of Kaivalam, a celebration of the WCC’S 70th General Assembly being held in Chennai from October 7 to 10.

Apparao Gallery and WCC’s presentation of ‘Indi-genius,Utilitarian Furniture’ features limited edition furniture which seamlessly meld art and craft in spectacular formats. An enticing, white foam and fabric designer chair.

There is more magic at Art World-WCC’s ‘Forms of Yesterday and Today.’ On display are sculptures in mediums as diverse as fibre glass, ceramics, stone and metal. Modern, folk and the traditional meet in this spectacular show, where a Chola Nataraja shares space with granite stone faces and ancient Thanjavur painings complement colourful items in ancient variations of Indian art.

At Forum Art Gallery-WCC’s ‘Chamba Rumaal: Paintings in Embroidery,’ the romance of the rumaals from Himachal is explored. This is a showcase of ‘revival’ Chamba rumaals, undertaken by the Delhi Crafts Council. As a continuation of the ras leela theme, Forum also has a display of ‘Ras Leela of Unconditional Love,’ which are paintings and sculptures by leading artists such as Illango, Nandagopal and Muralidharan.

And finally the story of WCC itself, seen through the photographer’s lens presented by Ashvita Gallery-WCC. The ‘World Crafts Council: A Golden Era of Images,’ combines archival photographs and historical research in the form of digital collage printed on canvas. All the exhibitions conclude on October 12. For more details on the remaining exhibitions go to www.kaivalam.com

The venues

Apparao Galleries, 7 Wallace Garden, Nungambakkam.

Art World, 1/12 Ganeshapuram 3rd Street (Off Cenotaph Road).

Forum Art Gallery, 57 Padmanabha Nagar, 5th Street, Adyar.

Ashvita, 112nd Street, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore.

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