Art

Explore the harmonious relationship between man and Nature, at this sculpture exhibition

The artist had worked on this series for almost five years

The artist had worked on this series for almost five years   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

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Artist Mrinal Kanti Gayen sees rhythm in everything. Experience the harmonious relationship that man shares with flora and fauna, in his ongoing exhibition of sculptures

Everything about the bronze structure screams delicate. Be it the story it narrates or its making.

The piece, now in an unassuming corner of Art Houz gallery, is worth a long halt. It depicts a creeper with leafs meticulously strewn over a branch that winds upwards, possibly towards light. It appears as an interconnected maze at first; but on a closer look, reveals itself to be a layered work.

The thin, carefully crafted leaves and the deliberate space between leaves and branches, give the structure breathing space. There is a rustic quality to it, enhanced by a brownish tinge.

Kolkata-based artist Mrinal Kanti Gayen’s idea behind this particular series is exactly this: to subvert the traditional ideas of bronze, generally associated with mass and heaviness. His series of bronze sculptures that tell the story of an eternal romance between man and Nature, which he worked on over four to five years, is titled Tactile Melodies and is on display at Art Houz gallery in the city.

For Mrinal, who spent most of his childhood in a nondescript village in the Sunderbans, the melody that Nature and its people share was not foreign. The marshlands, its animals and people co-exist. “There is constant dialogue between these elements of Nature. Be it between two trees or between a man and a tree. Or even a tadpole and a tree,” says Mrinal over phone from Kolkata, adding that this shaped all his observations as a child.

These dialogues were reflections of life itself, for the artist. The exhibit shows works, designated lucidly into titles like Rhythm of Nature, Rhythm of Life, Rhythm of Light, and Rhythm of Moonlight. “I see rhythm in everything. Rhythm is a bioscope through which I view all these elements,” adds Mrinal.

Most of his works portray motion in some way — his second work in the series, called Rhythm of Life, depicts branches jutting out of a fluid base (a marshland); small figurines of people are seen running down these branches, wheeling tyres with a stick.

Artist Mrinal Kanti Gayen

Artist Mrinal Kanti Gayen   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Another work has frogs and tadpoles, some ready to jump, some settled comfortably on lotus leaves. Motifs of men, women and children run through the series. The harmony that comes with coexistence is another idea that the artist focuses on.

Human figures in the pieces have an animalistic quality in them — they are raw and beastly, albeit not in an aggressive way, but in an ‘in-tune with Nature’ kind of way. Men swinging between branches and little girls skipping through vines manifest this observation.

Since ‘hollow space’ is a recurring theme, the process of creating these sculptures proved challenging for Mrinal. “Since I had to reduce the volume, and not the scale, I had to be careful. I have modelled smaller sections separately in clay and moulded in metal; the larger sections were moulded directly in wax. These separate pieces then have been welded together.” This is also a departure from the traditional process of moulding a piece in its entirety.

Tactile Melodies will be on display till December 7 at Art Houz gallery, Sterling Road.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 4:28:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/explore-the-harmonious-relationship-that-man-shares-with-nature-in-this-exhibition-of-sculptures/article30114256.ece

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