Though starkly different, sculptures by three artistes have a common thread
Fittingly titled ‘Allegory', the sculpture exhibition showcases works of V. Ravindran, E. Gopinath and Gagji Monpara. The show exhibits sculptures in varied materials such as ceramic, bronze, wood and glass.
Inspired by the organic form of the human body, E. Gopinath has created a series of sculptures in clay and coloured with oxides, and emphasises the use of non-toxic material in his work. His sculptures reflect the concept of the external and the internal — the world sees only the outside of people, while the inside is shrouded in mystery. His forms are those of hollow human figures, the textured exterior giving way to the darkness of the interior. He plays with textures on the surface of his work to emphasise the glorification of the external that masks the internal. While ‘Queen' shows four human figures dwarfed by their towering queen, ‘Organic Man' and ‘Organic Woman' reflect a strong earthiness. The impassive faces have a strangely vulnerable feel perched on the frail wrapping of clay over the nothingness of their hollow bodies.
The exhibits by V. Ravindran, a freelance sculptor, comprises bronze sculptures inspired by tribal art and rock paintings from Tamil Nadu, especially Thiruvannamalai. He concentrates on animal forms in general, and his work maintains the angularity of severe line. Interestingly, in keeping with the rock art, Ravindran's forms appear as though they would go back to being murals if they were pressed into the wall. Apart from his works in bronze, Ravindran also works with wood, and its natural form and contour has influenced his subject.
Contrast in styles
A contrast in style, Gagji Monpara's work is sheer music in glass. He has recycled old bottles to mould and create sculptural forms, set in wonderfully interesting compositions on wood bases. Monpara's ‘landscape' composed of two deep-green bottles moulded to tree-like forms is positioned on two separate wooden bases. The two pieces can be shifted about, giving the composition a fresh perspective with every change. ‘Interference' is a cheeky take on the nosy neighbour next door; the flattened bottle hanging over the edge of the cubicle containing the other three ‘gossipers' and trying to eavesdrop. A set of three wall-mounted sculptures are untitled, but reminiscent of a mother and child, and show smaller bottles cuddled by the moulded lap of the larger bottle. Having worked with wood and metal before trying his hand at glass sculpture, Monpara successfully combines glass and wood in this particular series.
A teacher of clay modelling at a school in Jamnagar, Monpara once worked on a project with the children, and had them fire their clay models placed inside glass jam jars. The results were so fascinating that he went on to collect interestingly shaped glass bottles to experiment with in converting them to sculptures. The work borne of this effort has culminated in an imaginative collection.
The works by the three artistes, although severely contrasted in style, are fittingly brought together by the allegorical thread of interactive relationships with Nature and the humankind. The themes of interpersonal relationships explored by the fluid forms of Gopinath and Monpara are complemented by Ravindran's representation of animal forms in a contrastingly severe line.
(The show is on till March 17 at Prakrit Art Gallery, Greenways Road Extension, RA Puram, and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Keywords: art exhibition