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Thursday, Mar 18, 2004

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Installing life

Omsoorya's exhibition takes a sombre look at life

IT IS not often that one gets to see installation art in the twin cities. It is not unheard of but quite a novelty for the Hyderabadis. For Omsoorya, a final year post-graduate student of the Sarojini Naidu School of Fine Arts, performing Arts and Communication, it is a form of expression. He has turned the Daira Centre for Arts and Culture into his personal space till March 20 - rather installed his art at the Gallery. Paintings, grafitti inscribed on the tiled border of the walls and the floor, sketches on the floor and small installations are juxtaposed amidst diffused lighting to create a sombre ambience. The music of Hariprasad Chaurasia's flute enhances the seriousness of the show. Omsoorya, in his concept, has created a montage "..Earthworm - A Prophet" (display of paintings with mixed media). The paintings on canvas and those on the floor of the gallery form a single unit.

The large gallery space is put to use by Omsoorya as a coherent whole. The utilisation of the manhole in the gallery where the birth of the earthworm happens is also very interesting. From there meander the lines (in red oxide) through the space to a painting of a man holding an axe. Earthworm is used as a metaphor of fertile energy.

The paintings may seem dark to many. Ideas of birth and death and limitations and problems man faces find reference in his paintings, which are in subdued colours, some of which have a good chiaroscuro effect. The mysteries of life - sorrow and happiness depicted in the series of faces are in a way autobiographical.

Omsoorya shows concern about the environment. War, destruction, socio-political issues are hinted at.

For instance, the works on military canvas cloth (which are painted mostly in blue) speak of the darker side of war. And the small installations (like a pond of water which is coloured red) indicate the gore and human violations. Living in Hyderabad where domed and arched structures are part of the landscape has made Omsurya paint them. In some he has used bright orange.

The ideas on life concretise in a two-dimensional way. The medium used is mixed and it is the idea, which predominates over the medium. At times it looks as if the artist is caught in the vortex of the real and the unreal - confused as too many thoughts cloud his mind.

The lighting (red and blue) creates a very subdued atmosphere where it becomes a part of the artwork. Such a show stimulates the mind to grapple with the realities of the world. But at times it may be a gloomy picture too. This is where the subjectivity of the artist comes in.

The show can be viewed till March 20.


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