Participants tried their hand at pottery and got to witness works of Aarti Vir, Priyanka Aelay and Albert Camus

The Hyderabad Literary Festival 2014 turned out to be a forum that engaged participants beyond books and discourses. Kalakriti Art Gallery witnessed three exhibitions at a go — potter Aarti Vir’s works, Priyanka Aelay’s pen and ink drawings on paper and Albert Camus’s interactive exhibition.

Outside the gallery, a bunch of children and young adults put their creative skills to test learning to mould clay under the watchful eye of Aarti Vir. Clay became a tool of fun in the hands of children as they moulded it into angry birds, a hulk-like human reading a paper and a few took the opportunity to bring in thoughts on ecological conservation and living in a beautiful world. The adults, meanwhile, tried sculpting human faces with minute details, large butterflies and even a game of Sudoku. The idea behind the workshop was to let participants have fun. School student Harem B contemplated replacing a small sheet of paper with a newspaper in the hands of the hulk-like human he had modelled even as his mother felt he would end up breaking the arms of the model. Witnessing the fun the children were having, Aarti simply shrugged and smiled.

Elsewhere, inside the gallery, Aarti’s works transcended the realm of functional pottery and showed her artistic prowess. She juxtaposed Leonard Cohen’s lines, ‘There’s a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how light comes in,’ to compliment her series ‘fences and borders’. As Aarti puts it, her pottery has changed in response to the world around her, addressing both external and internal concerns. A series titled ‘secure, insecure’ attempts to address the conflict between the securities and insecurities we experience in our own homes.

Pen and ink

Priyanka Aelay’s exhibition has pen-and-ink drawings on paper. Simple lines reflect her perception of issues faced by women, as addressed by authors Susie Tharu and K. Lalita. Priyanka’s drawings are part of the new Telugu edition of ‘Women writing in India’ by the two authors. The original book in English is now widely read across universities.

Scan and see

Albert Camus’s interactive exhibition comes to India for the first time. At first glance, you might overlook the display as mere posters. But keep your 3G-enabled mobile phone or tablet handy to view this exhibition. Once a viewer downloads the Alliance Francais’ Albert Camus app, the user will be able to access the contents pertaining to the Nobel Prize winning author. A user can select the language and go through the tutorial on how to scan the QR codes and explore text, video, images and sounds that appear on screen. The content is divided into five time periods and the entire viewing will take between 60 and 90 minutes.

The exhibition will continue till February 8 at Kalakriti Art Gallery.