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A show to preserve the past

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PAST FORWARD: Artist Kanchan Bagari in New Delhi on Wednesday.
PAST FORWARD: Artist Kanchan Bagari in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Madhur Tankha

A tribute to those who built the Chittorgarh Fort

NEW DELHI: To create public awareness about the need to preserve the country’s dilapidated monuments, artist Kanchan Bagari has in her ongoing exhibition at the All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society gallery here depicted the exquisitely carved sculptures lying in ruins at a historic fort in Rajasthan.

Through her debut solo exhibition, “Kala Ki Pukar”, Kanchan wants to pay tribute to the unremembered and unsung artisans who built the magnificent temples inside the historic Chittorgarh Fort many centuries ago.

“Since childhood I have been visiting the Chittorgarh Fort in my State. It is the favourite holiday destination of many tourists. I am particularly attracted by the exquisite sculptures. Though the artisans have done brilliant work, they are unknown figures. I am concerned about the insensitive attitude of some visitors who have mutilated the sculptures in the temples,” says she.

Stating that her exhibition has a message for those in the corridors of power to do something to preserve the country’s cultural heritage, she says she has mounted her first exhibition in Delhi to reach out to politicians and administrators. “The sculptures inspire people to live life positively. Though some of the sculptures have been mutilated, they still appeal to the discerning art lovers,” she adds.

For four years Kanchan has been so absorbed in trying to bring alive the sculptures on her canvas that she become a virtual recluse. “I had completely isolated myself from my neighbours and friends. I live in Surajgarh town. What started as a hobby became a full-fledged passion after I graduated from S.D.S. Girls’ College in 2004. I have displayed 22 works at this exhibition. My mission is not just to sell my works but to create public awareness about the damage being done to our sculptures. The works have no price tag; I want to sell my works only to those who are passionate about preserving our ancient monuments and landmarks.”

The exhibition, which opened on May 22, ends on Thursday.

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