Hyderabad-based senior artist Chippa Sudhakar is ready to embrace the new. The ‘wood’ man, known for his carved etchings, is set to transform into a ‘soil’ man as he experiments with different mediums for Changing Terrains, his week-long solo show. The exhibition marks Shrishti art gallery turning 21, but since the gallery is getting a facelift, the works are to be displayed at State Art Gallery in Madhapur.
Inspired by Nature
For Sudhakar, Nature has been a constant source of inspiration. “Living with Nature fills me with joy,” he shares, recalling being surrounded by greenery and watching goats, buffaloes and cows walking past his studio near Vanasthalipuram in the ‘90s. Quietude and lush greenery inspired him to set up Banyan Hearts Studios (BAS)in 2005 at Kismatpur near Rajendranagar. “Hyderabad’s terrain has seen massive transformation in the past four years,” he says. Changing landscapes, the bond between humans and nature, decreasing wildlife, natural soil and rock formations under threat due to urbanisation and increasing migration all find an expression in his works.
“A 40-floor building is coming up next to my studio, birds, snakes and peacocks are slowly moving out due to the noise. If this pace of urbanisation continues, there is a threat of losing them.”
The 50-plus mixed media works (some as big as 4x12 feet in dimension) showcase his perspective on the ever-changing world and experiments with media and materials — from terracotta and wood to soil and metal (aluminium sheets) and acrylic and canvas.
In using terracotta — a material that was used to construct buildings and make household accessories and objects, Sudhakar envisions a world that balances Nature and development. The artist’s background in printmaking and teaching at Jawaharlal Nehru Fine Arts and Architecture University (JNAFAU) helped him experiment and use soil in his works for the first time.
With pottery-making and firing tools in the studio, he glued the soil — dust from broken pots — on canvas with a strong adhesive. The soil, he says has been used to imagine the rocky landscapes, boundaries and cartographic lines. Relief lines and forms on wood indicate population and the landscape, a result of ‘migration in a particular space’. “I had worked with metal plates in 2020 in a small way, but I have been able to understand the material better only now,” says the artist.
Chippa Sudhakar’s solo show Changing Terrains is on at State Art Gallery, Madhapur from April 15 to 22.