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Art for education

Krishnakriti, the cultural festival, was a confluence of art and music

ART AWARENESS in the city seems to be catching on with gallery owners organising art and art-related activities. Increasing attempts are being made to integrate art with fine arts - particularly music and dance. Such a juxtaposition of painting exhibitions and art camps with concert(s) may not find favour with the purists but for the commoner it is a confluence of art.

The recent Krishna Kriti (an art and culture festival - a tribute to Krishnachandra B. Lahoti with a five-day art camp and a concert - Trinity of Guitars by Pt. Brijbhushan Kabra, Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya and Pt. Tanmoy Bose on the tabla) conducted under the aegis of the Lahoti Foundation provided such a meeting point. The heartening aspect is the noble cause the event is associated with. The proceeds from the sale of paintings will be utilised for scholarships for students.

About ten artists (five from the twin cities Surya Prakash, Sisir Sahana, A. Rajeshwara Rao, Chippa Sudhakar and B. Srinivas Reddy and five from outside - Gurcharan Singh, Prabhakar Kolte, Kanchan Dasgupta, Charan Sharma and Alok Bhattacharya) unleashed their creativity in the art camp. Normally such camps facilitate interaction at two levels - between the artists and the people (including students of art). As most artists work in isolation one hardly gets to see their process of work. Such an opportunity is provided in a camp though the artist has to stick to a time frame, which they may not do otherwise. One also gets a glimpse of the artists' oeuvres.

Most of the artists were supportive of the noble cause of the camp. For Charan Sharma, Sisir and Alok Bhattacharya who painted during the concert it was a new experience. Rhythmic strokes, rather haphazard ones,characterises the three works. The emanation of sound - the naad found representation on canvas in abstract forms - Sisir's had a woman, while Charan Sharma's had an Om in the centre (denoting the root of the sound).

Prabhakar Kolte's canvases are devoid of `figuration'. He presents "non-identifiable objects" as he "does not plan a painting. I believe in forming and not of forms." So there is abstraction in colourful hues.

On the contrary, Gurcharan Singh paints figures from every day life. His work has women and children clinging to them side by side with a dog and a parrot.

Charan Sharma is particular about the effect of light in his work. A jharoka like window (with an ancient look) has light seeping through it. A still canvas in earthy shades, it may remind one of any `medieval' structure.

A clown attracts people on account of his entertainment and costume. But there is more to his life and he has to invariably wear a mask. So Kanchan Dasgupta portrays this predicament.

Alok Bhattacharya expressions of human relationships are `semi-figurative'. For, he takes the objects/subjects in everyday life and understands it in his own way.

The Hyderabadi artists continued with their own respective styles with slight changes in the elements and ways of depiction. Surya Prakash paints nature in all its bright hues. A. Rajeshwara Rao's preoccupation with the temple atmosphere is recreated with motifs - gate, toranams, ancient coins, tree, figure of Kali - all with a folk element permeating through. Sisir Sahana's concern over the metamorphosis of the rural-urban areas and the urban-rural continuum is reflected in his characteristic style. War and peace are represented in B. Srinivasa Reddy's work where `rock-art-like' sketches (of humans and animals) exist along with a huge saintly image.

"This festival will be held every year between January 7 (as it is the birth anniversary of Krishnachandra B. Lahoti) and 11," said Prashant Lahoti of the Lahoti Foundation. The cause is genuine provided it is kept up every year. Looks like the art cognoscenti of the city seem to have better times ahead.


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