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Updated: February 9, 2013 21:10 IST

Showcase: Where the wall is the canvas

Swati Daftuar
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Jayasri Burman painting on her section of the wall.
Special Arrangement Jayasri Burman painting on her section of the wall.

The earliest examples of human art and paintings can be found on the walls of old caves in the etchings by prehistoric man who had found a way to channel his creativity and thoughts.

We have come a long way from rough markings on the wall but, even today, those drawings remain a part of our artistic legacy. “Living Walls”, a group exhibition presented by Art Alive Gallery, invokes this very interesting part of human legacy and converts the gallery space into the artists’ canvas.

A collaborative art project that loops in renowned artists such as Sakti Burman, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Paresh Maity, B. Manjunath Kamath, Jayasri Burman, Jagannath Panda, Mithu Sen, Chintan Upadhyay, G R Iranna, Gigi Scaria, Subba Ghosh, Sumedh Rajendran, Sharmi Chowdhury and Ram Singh Urveti, “Living Walls” is a unique and rare experience.

Every wall in the large and welcoming gallery space is covered with paintings by these artists. Of course, each one already has a singular style honed over years of practice. A gallery lined with canvases displaying each of their works may not have had the same effect. The painetd walls create an overwhelmingly striking palette of colours, styles and ideas.

Art evolves and so do artists. Art Alive believes in the need for that continuous process of evolution and endeavours to create a platform where artists can enrich their experiences and share with their audiences.

Sunaina Anand, director, Art Alive Gallery, says: “This is a dynamic live display of art that would showcase diverse selection of works. And the participation of live audience would only add to the dimension of the show. We are keen on exploring the culmination of such creative energies.”

The core idea, according to the gallery organisers, is “to enlarge the artists’ canvas and, in doing so, involve the audience who will witness the process of work and thus broaden their experience of art.”

Every artist has used his own style and interpreted the act of painting on the wall in his own way. “I didn’t know what I was going to paint when I was first invited to be part of the project. You have to understand that when you paint on the canvas, you can change and correct the work. But this time, I had to keep in mind that I’d be painting directly on the wall. Finally, an idea came, and I painted a pair of lovers, invoking the eternal story of human beings,” says the veteran Sakti Burman.

While Burman’s work talks about human nature in terms of love and companionship, G. R. Iranna’s painting underlines the flipside of development and industrialisation. “The tree I’ve painted symbolises my problems with deforestation for the sake of urbanisation and development. I’m not against development, but I don’t support the blatant and thoughtless cutting of trees,” Iranna explains.

With no theme, no boundary and no guidelines for them to follow, each artist has painted entirely different works. Both the experience of working on walls, as well as working together in the gallery, come together to create a stimulating and artistically challenging experience for the artists and the viewers.

Bottomline: No theme, no boundary, no guidelines.

Living Walls

Where: Art Alive Gallery, Sector 44, Gurgaon

When: Until February 28

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