Different Strokes is the coming together of three different perspectives
Historical monuments on canvas, mixed media and dark hues, and bright images of work spaces. The Olive Art Initiative’s “Different Strokes”, curated by Shailin Smith brings two different artists and one photographer — painter Sanjib Saha, digital artist Shankar S. and Anshika Varma.
While Sanjib Saha and Anshika Varma capture diverse frames from Old and New Delhi, Shankar S. is a graphic artist from Kolkata who uses digital composition.
Sanjib Saha’s series titled “Morning Mist” are close-to-miniature oil canvasses of monuments by morning. Recreating historical monuments that dot Delhi’s landscape, Sanjib uses the play of light and shadow in his small square-shaped, broad, wooden-framed oil on canvasses.
Poetic and romantic, the depiction of these heritage architectural monuments compose Sanjib’s framework.
The detailing of its present, crumbling and chipped state of the monuments find strokes in the peeling arches and disappearing textures.
Suffused yellow and orange light fills “Jharokha” and “Hooked”. The artist also moves on from structures, to nature in his lotus pond paintings. The canvasses are not peopled, and there is a degree of capturing moments fractured by time.
Shankar S. uses interesting mediums to arrive at his art depictions. Abstract digital photography then represented or printed on canvas using oil and acrylic finds expression in Shankar’s use of mixed media.
Deep colours of blues and greens take different shadows and forms in “Faith”, “Dialogue” and “Nandi” — which has a manuscript backdrop. Vaporous and indistinct, his collection plays on the mind and at the same time, is a reflection of contours and mindscapes in swirls and shades.
Anshika Varma brings out the vitality and variation of a myriad occupations in her thoughtfully titled “Men at Work”. Capturing work spaces from mostly Delhi and one from Jaipur, Anshika explores these spaces using again, mostly colour photography and one lone image in black and white of the tile maker and one using blue light in the indoor workshop of the stone cutter. From the bustling and colourful Sarojini Nagar Market, Chandni Chowk, Pragati Maidan to Khirkee village, Anshika diversifies market spaces from clothes, fruit and shoes hawkers, mechanic, tile maker, tea seller to a stone cutter. Reds, yellows and oranges fill the lively professions of the clothes, shoes, fruit and tea sellers in their colourful wares.
All frontal view shots, Anshika’s lens produces some interesting angles and details. From the fruit seller parked against a bright red wall and right under a “No Parking Sign”, the earthy kolhapuris dangling from the frame of its seller looking up to the smoke stains on the yellow wall of the tea shop, Anshika also uses medium-sized photos encased in thick, solid off-white frames. The textural detailing of the tiles and the darkness and closeness in the stone-cutting workshop capture work spaces in a different light. Anshika intends to capture these professions as vital to the identities of the practitioners.
“Different Strokes” is on display till November 7, 12 noon to 11.30 p.m. at Olive Beach, No. 16, Wood Street, Ashoknagar, off Richmond Road. Call 41128400.AYESHA MATTHAN