Thirty-four young artists depict art in as many styles and stretch their skill beyond the canvas

An easy chair sits pretty in a corner near the entrance. The chair takes a step backward to narrate its story of lost souls. Artist Diptej Vernekar looks on as the spotlight falls on the chair and one sees a newspaper clipping which blends to form an empty tea cup. As the cup gets filled with tea, in appears a cocktail glass filled ice cubes. “The lost chair in a way talks about our culture in a fix – not able to forget the past yet not adopting modernity,” states young artist Diptej, who has been selected for Khoj International Artists’ Association, Delhi. His work is part of an exhibition titled ‘The Flight – Up, Up & Away’ put together by outgoing students of the department of fine arts, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad. Diptej who hails from Goa has brought out the cocktail quality of his native place. “This 25-year-old chair made by my father was lying in my uncle’s backyard. This is like a rebirth to the chair,” he says.

As the budding artists of the university get ready to move out and spread their wings, they have created works as diverse and distinct as their sensibilities. The foyer looks like a mini-India with youngsters from Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Chandigarh and Chhattisgarh. The interesting part is the way these young artists have also integrated mixed media, motor induced mechanisms, performance and sound and video projections to enhance the visual experience for the onlooker.

Monika Bijlani, a freelance artist from Bhopal speaks through her abstract work. “I try to seek perfection through my lines. The pressure of being a single parent comes out; the roughly done edges speak about the need for perfection,” she says. Afza Tamkanat asserts her identity as an artist and shuns away negativity through the earthen pots. On the walls are her water colour works with tea wash. “The earthen pots is a reaction to the feedback I got to my works,” she laughs. All her childhood memories of growing up with pets and surroundings and her artist father are reflected in the work.

Also standing majestically on a rhino is God of Shunya by artist Sujeesh Oncherry. “When I came from Calicut to Hyderabad, I found emptiness in this new place. Slowly the emptiness faded away. Rhino looks a powerful animal but is not. I wanted to depict the emptiness and in India, one is never short of gods,” he smiles. At Kartar Singh’s zone, there are ‘brains’ and Gandhi topis made of plaster of paris strewn around. “One intends to take something positive from every source but gets different kinds of information – positive and negative — from various sources. Everyone says they are aam aadmi but when they see power, they worship it,” says the artist from Chattisgarh.

Atindra showcases his life with family and friends on a canvas titled ‘I’. The Pictures have been interestingly pasted with benzene on mirror pieces cut as squares. “I have my school and college friends, my family members and others too here. I have left one square empty for people to walk in and be a part of my life,” he says.

Monica sums up the exhibition as an amalgamation of different thoughts and influences. “This shows how much professionalism we have acquired and our desire to work towards it.”

The exhibition by these 34 young artists is on till May 4 between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.