Shridhar Iyer’s paintings transmit a very strong and joyful energy

Visiting artist Shridhar Iyer’s exhibition “Spiritual Sojourn” means embarking on an abstract journey where expression does not take common shapes, but one of lines, colours, lights and even organic material.

The paintings are an explosion of colours and lines and they transmit a very strong energy, a positive and joyful energy, and it is easy to perceive that an entire world made of spiritualism and feelings is behind these works. There is, indeed, something of all the encounters and the journeys that the artist takes through the spiritual places of the country in his art; he is “a pilgrim in search of the intangible,” as Uma Nair, the curator, says.

Despite the idea of motion that comes out from the paintings, they are also very balanced and it seems that no element overwhelms the others, in a harmonic coexistence: every brush stroke seems to be in its right location and, despite the absence of formality, it is possible to perceive attention to details. Furthermore, the sinuosity of the lines seems to transfer on canvas the chanting of mantras.

Organic material is also a guest of the exhibition, especially in the form of coconut fibre. Coconut, for the artist, is the symbol of a spiritual journey: collected from the plant, it is brought to the market from where it often makes its way to the temples, to be given as a tribute to the gods. Every part of the coconut is used, from the juice to the shell and this habit has been carried on by devotees from ancient times.

For the same reason, the coconut can be seen as the symbol of travel both in space and in time. The fibre takes shape through different installations, from cylindrical sculptures to clothes, and, perhaps because of these unusual appearances, the desire to touch these works to discover if they are soft or rough becomes intense and tactility becomes suddenly part of the journey.

“Beyond the depth of the thoughts of the artist and his artworks, what render this exhibition particularly interesting is the originality, a quality that is not always easy to find in Indian artists,” said again the curator.

The exhibition is on till June 7 at Auction House and Gallery, in SIS House Lado Sarai.