Refreshing new perspectives are brought out in the ongoing exhibition at the newly-opened Gallery Five Forty Five. The exhibition is a sharp collection of visual art, photographs and paintings by six artists: Meghana Bisineer, Kabeer Lal, Fahad Moti Khan, Vivek Chandrashekaran, Amrish Malvankar and Sushma Shrivastava.
Meghana Bisineer's work is a collection of etchings, digital prints and a video installation. The collection of etchings is largely composed of lines, drawn and re-drawn, sometimes forming coherent shapes, like a collection of drawings that could actually form the frames of an animation, and sometimes an organic abstraction. But her centrepiece is a video installation (titled “Dog”), where a series of images is projected onto a flipping phonebook. The frames of this animation have all been done in charcoal and chalk on one large piece of canvas mounted on a wall. Here again, Meghana draws, erases and re-draws over the same canvas to create the frames of her animation, which she recorded through a digital stills camera.
“My works are less interested in telling stories, as they are in exploring a state of being and my response to being in a certain place, finding ways to explore its ambiguities and my relationship with it. It is often a dialogue with a certain place,” explains Meghana. “I see this act of my mark-making, erasing and drawing over the same surface (which already has traces of earlier drawings) as akin to what we do with landscapes. By ‘landscapes' I mean both the physical landscape as well as our inner landscapes. It is the present that we always tend to see. We often forget that these very landscapes have memories and a past and a history. They are constantly changing; a palimpsest of our mark making.”
If Meghana's work is all about lines, then vast spaces occupy Vivek's black and white photographic canvases. His photographs are partly impressionistic; he captures the landscapes of picturesque houses surrounded by water bodies at the French and Dutch coasts or seascapes showing rock gradually culled out by natural forces.
“We live in a hyper-connected, ‘always on' age, and there will always be a part of us that yearns for the tranquillity of open spaces and the comfort of traditions old. I strive to feed that yearning through my images and for this I look for places that are ancient and timeless,” describes Vivek. “To capture the drama of a rock pounded by wind and sea, I frequently choose to capture passages of time rather than an instant. To bring that drama to life, I make most of my images in a rather old-fashioned way — with sheet film and dark rooms.”
Textured, subdued images with shadowy silhouettes, as commentaries on urban spaces (according to the gallery) become Fahad Moti Khan's subjects. While Kabir Lal captures moments in time and brings out its poetry — a lone man praying in a mosque as a little girl looks on, a forest of pink and orange or a brewing storm in the sea. He plays around with colour, dramatising with tones of sepia, or by adding a spot of colour to a black-and-white image.
Amrish Malvankar's colourscapes capture his inner world, using both blocks of colour and lines of black or white. In one of his works, a background of inkwork forms a base for concentric shapes of colours receding into the Vaishnavite tilak of white and red.
“Through my works, I have tried to play around with colour and the emotions associated with them. There is a symbolic presence of God, which can be interpreted differently by the viewer. One can look at my work and assume his or her own view of God. Also, here, the canvas becomes my palette, on which I mix colours directly,” explains Amrish, an architect by profession.
He is now pursuing art full time. He observes that traces of architecture always find their way into his work, this is quite obvious in another of his paintings where he depicts a cityscape outlined in white against an almost graffitied canvas of unusual combinations of colours like maroon, black and yellow.
The exhibition at Gallery Five Forty Five will continue at 545, 6 Main Road, 4 Cross, Indiranagar, until May 21. For details, contact 9886117375 or visit www.fivefortyfive.in.