Art and craft meet to create a contemporary appeal in the works of three artists that are on show at Cholamandal Artists’ Village

At the Laburnum and Indigo Galleries at Cholamandal Artists’ Village, the line between artist and artisan blurs. “Attachment,” an exhibition curated by Girish Shahane, explores how three artists use local craft techniques to create contemporary pieces of art.

There is an idea behind every piece that Ganesh Selvaraj has created. As he says, the result doesn’t matter as much as the idea in his head. For instance, one of his pieces is a large square filled with smaller geometric shapes. They are placed randomly, pages torn from magazines and folded into colourful or alphabet-heavy triangles. “These are based on what Einstein once said — doing the same things and expecting different results is insane. Here I have repeated the same tasks, folded 3,000 or so triangles and this is the result,” he says. Another aspect of his art is about how the irregular becomes regular. “I have always been a scribbler. I scribbled a few lines and when I painted these irregular lines, they became profound,” he smiles.

Curator Girish Shahane met Ganesh, Yuvan and Narayanan and conceived of this show from the similarity of patterns in their work. “I have been interested in how the Indian tradition of decoration can be used in interesting ways in contemporary art. Here, the work doesn't become decorative even if it uses those elements,” he explains.

Yuvan Bothisathuvar’s ideas are completely handcrafted and so contemporarily Indian. One has a long mirror covered with perpendicular strips of wood. They are painted in bright colours on the side, presenting the idea of mirror work in art. Another has thin wavy strips of newsprint stuck in long trails all along a wooden board. The pattern is not perfect, there are gaps and yet, the whole work comes together well.

The different phases of the moon in Narayanan’s art are rather photographic. As Girish says, it looks like a picture of the moon and yet when one looks closer, one realises it is a drawing. The moon is made from a thin strip of paper, carefully shaded. The craters and hills are created painstakingly by hand. And the size of the moon in the 20-odd framed pieces changes as it waxes and wanes.

“Attachment” is on at Laburnum and Indigo Galleries at Cholamandal Artists’ Village till February 23.