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Myriad montage

The Ganapati Montage, an exhibition of paintings at Daira Centre for Arts and Culture, displays distinct visual representations by six contemporary artists.

TRADITIONAL DEPICTION: Balaiah's stylised imagery.

OUT OF all the gods of the Hindu pantheon it is Ganesha who is widely represented in different forms. A delight of the artists, his `zoomorphic' figure kindles their imagination. Represented in myriad forms this pot-bellied god with an elephant head has been executed in a range of media. From the regular representation (as he is conceived in the scriptures and Puranas) to the abstract - there is play of colour and form. An ongoing exhibition at Daira, Centre for Arts and Culture, presents The Ganapati Montage - a display of various forms in paintings. Works of about six artists are mounted, each with a distinct visual vocabulary.

The form and structure of the elephant-head is `malleable' enough to be shaped in diverse ways. And these days, artistic representation is an imaginative riot. The articulation is interesting - Ganesha is shown to be sleeping, walking, playing musical instruments, standing and in many other gestures.

Arun Singh's crayon works outline the abstract motifs of the god. With bare minimum lines, he draws the trunk, ears and eyes following a rather "Cubist'' approach. This strikes the eye on account of a `non-formal' approach of representation. Prasad, an upcoming artist, pictures a thoughtful god - one of the works is largely `sculpture-like'.

WOMB EFFECT: Tuljaram Manik `encases' the god.

Srikanth Dunde essays Ganesha in about three forms. First, he plays with the form in brightly-painted ones. Using primary poster colours (red, blue, green and yellow ochre) he envisages a god with many eyes. These eyes seem to be the predominant aspect of the small forms. It looks as though the god is seeing us from everywhere. The second set of works display the influence of miniatures, particularly, Rajasthan. With a colourful border, he paints the small images in the centre in mostly reddish-orange. The Nathadwara imagery of Krishna seeps in unconsciously in the way of detailing though the artist retains his individuality. The third series is totally abstract. Though there is a play of primary hues - the conceptualisation of the image here is different. Spontaneous lines provide an outline of the image and the composition is `disturbed' (mellowed down) with the touch of black.

An air of serenity pervades Sachin Jaltare's Ganeshas. The use of saffron in a dominant way imparts the spiritual effect in the different images. A calm and composed Ganesha is created in few colours with quite a bit of white space around. In one he is shown with hands tied at the back walking into a whirl of white strokes (`whirlpool' of emotions?). Another has him reclining.

Tuljaram Manik imparts the `womb' effect wherein the god is `encased' in bright colours in rather abstract compositions.

INTERESTING COMPOSITION: Srikanth Dunde plays with form and colour.

Balaiah's paintings (acrylic on handmade paper and decolam on handmade paper) are more or less traditional depictions. The god is envisaged in complete form. Balaiah's stylised imagery (rather bucolic) results from bright colours with an earthy effect.

Reasonably priced, the montage could be an ideal gift idea for those wanting to pick up presents.

The works can be viewed at Daira till September 9.


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