Traditional elements with contemporary contours — that’s how the works of four artists were
‘Down South' at Sarala's Artworld recently featured the work of South Indian artists — and much of the work exhibited took South Indian scenes and motifs as their dominant themes.
From Pandi Selvam's acrylic canvases depicting doors and windows from around the South to N.S. Manohar's ink and watercolours of women in saris, the exhibition took a strongly traditional flavour.
However, whilst drawing on tradition cultural elements for inspiration, the works often depicted their roots with rather contemporary contours: Nadees Prabhu's watercolours showed a washed out, hazy city — streaked by kaleidoscopic, surreal colours of the night; Vilva Priyah's fluorescent, textured acrylics depicted sea and landscapes highlighted by mauve and pink hues.
The exhibition found its thematic cohesion in its motifs of the South, however, the works also shared a common inclination towards intriguing colour palettes.
Manohar Raja's surreal depiction of a village piper combines dark, rural colours with the vibrant to create a whimsical, colourful portrait, and Anita Doss' pastel colours emphasise the ornate and winding embellishments that adorn her peacock.
“I wanted to put on an exhibition of some very good, yet affordable artworks,” says gallery director Sarala Banerjee. “A lot of the works draw strongly on the traditional, yet they have that contemporary flourish that makes them very relevant and interesting.”