A naturalised artist from Spain, based in India, Gayatri Gamuz coalesces her two identities in her art

The eponymous show, ‘My name is Gayatri Gamuz’ opens at Kashi Art Gallery today. The show runs simultaneously at Museum Fundacion Antonio Perez in Cuenca, Spain. A one of its kind art collaboration, Kashi Art Gallery plans to do such exchanges with national museums and galleries around the world, thus widening the outreach of art to viewers, says Edgar Pinto, proprietor. In this case the parallel exhibition augments the narrative of the artist, of fusing two culturally and distantly apart worlds.

Gayatri Gamuz, the artist, belongs to both the places and countries. With a deeply personal brush stroke she ties the two cultures and countries in works that tell a story of migration, displacement and settlement. Memories make a major part of the tale, till a point where she begins to savour her new life. Her encounters on the new shores inspire differently but they also tug her back to things left behind. Sounds, animals, flora, people….become cues to a living past. Like the sepia, frayed photograph spotted in an antique bazaar here which set her down memory lane. In ‘My relatives, Myself’ she harks back to a similar picture which arrives, at her behest, by post. The painted comparative, from here and there, make one of the most sensitive interpretations of two worlds, one waning in memory and the other a stirring presence.

Married to an Indian, Inma became Gayatri after she arrived in India. But Inma was never lost to Gayatri. Despite the situational melding of two identities Gayatri and Inma co-exist comfortably. At the show the two voices surface not as contradictions but as parts of a full-bodied whole, a voice that seems supremely in control of the prevailing dualities. Inma does not confront Gayatri, nor vice-versa. The cow and bull, the former a part of her current landscape in Thiruvanamalai and the latter, a part of her Spanish days, are but a continuity of an unfolding narrative. This animal metaphor is implicit in ‘The Bull’.

Tanya Abraham, curator of the show, states “Gamuz paints freely and without pretence, she paints what she believes in and this is the merger of two worlds she knows.”

Her Indian connect comes through her work, ‘The Cow’. The artist has a close relationship with the cow, a common feature in Indian landscapes. She is able to invoke the sanctity associated with the animal. ‘My Tropical Birds’ too carries forward her relationship with her new environs. As an artist she seems to be drawn into the winged world of birds that stir her here. Her friend Gabriel, the subject of the picture, was the raison d’etre for the work informs the curator.

‘The Sky’ is a soft, scenic work with a strong message. Is the sky different in different parts of the world or is it the same sky? Metaphorical images of stroking red polka dots that embellish flamenco dancer’s dresses lend poignancy to Gayatri’s well-told tale.

The show is on till October 17.