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Energy of life

HARSHINI VAKKALANKA
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ART Five artists showcase their interpretations of nature, and it was rightly called Elements

Human perspectiveBond with nature
Human perspectiveBond with nature

Elements at Kynkyny showcasing the work of five artists John C.F, Kazi Nasir, Avijit Dutta, Ravi Shah and Madhuri Rao, curated by Lina Vincent Sunish, brings together and reinforces the role of the five elements in today’s context.

Each of these artists interprets the concept of the element and what it represents in his own way working though paintings, sculptures and sounds to create another landscape for the viewer to experience them.

C.F. John works with the element of water. In his series of paintings in oils and mixed media on silk fibres, he works with the human figure, of a woman and motifs from nature such as birds and trees, infusing in them the idea of stillness and the sense of transcendence, which are the qualities that he associates with water.

“Water is the best element to show stillness, it levels out everything to bring absolute stillness. Water is also something which is part of this time, at the same time is beyond time. It is primordial and I perceive it that way to experience that infinity.”

About the presence of human figures and nature motifs, he says, “everything is seen from the human perspective, from our perspective. How ever much we include nature in whatever we talk about and interpret, it still comes from our perspective and it is our reality.”

The birds are symbol of sacredness and hope and the persistence of life. “The bird lays eggs and builds a nest and finds space in the trees amidst hostile conditions. There is something that carries life forward that is beyond obstacle and beyond thought.”

Madhuri Rao highlights the element of wind in her soundscape, delegated a corner in the gallery space with criss-crossing blue floor lights to draw the visitor’s attention. The soundscape, titled “Ethereal Polyphony: simulated time travel for Mr.X”, draws attention to the elements through different sounds in nature.

“I simulated a zone where a traveller encounters sounds in everyday life as if from another zone. First, he encounters a forest with all its sounds, like the wind blowing. Then the traveller’s spaceship takes off and lands in the ocean with dolphins. Again the traveller moves through the continuum into another space through people and traffic,” explains Madhuri.

What she found interesting was the cause-effect phenomena in the elements which cannot really be understood unless they are applied against another surface, like the wind blowing against a hill. “In philosophy, it’s being in nothingness.”

Ravi Shah’s sculptures in wood and stone, largely of human figures, are spread around the space, standing like sentinels. Ravi points out that these sculptures are half-formed, appearing like ethereal tree-fairies or wood nymphs. These sculptures, he says, are infused with the energy of life because his figures are inspired by people he knows and therefore create a deeper connection.

“I love trees, I love growing trees and working with them.”

The exhibition also features works by Kazi Nasir and Avijit Dutta. “Elements” will be on view until April 13 at Kynkyny, 104 Embassy Square, above Ganjam Jewellers, 148, Infantry Road. For details, contact 40926202.

HARSHINI VAKKALANKA

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