The Pollen Waits on its Tiptoe explores the nine emotions through the medium of art

The Pollen Waits on its Tiptoe, an art exhibition themed on the Navarasas, is currently underway in the city

Published - April 02, 2024 09:01 am IST

Art by Akshay Mali

Art by Akshay Mali | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

What are you feeling right now, as you read this — curious, nonchalant, bored, interested? Or is there something else niggling at the back of your mind? Our state of mind is constantly governed by our emotions even if we do manage to master our expressions.

The Pollen Waits on its Tiptoe, an art exhibition themed around the nine emotions or Navarasas, has been curated by Bengaluru-based Manasa Raj.

Manasa says the idea for this show was a long time in the making. “During the pandemic, I noticed how the same situation was eliciting different reactions from different people — some were anxious, others relieved, while few saw it as an opportunity to challenge themselves. It was a time when everyone was undergoing emotional upheaval and I began to wonder about putting together a show around emotions.”

Art by Mohit Mahato

Art by Mohit Mahato | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Then, when the concept of the Navarasas struck me, I thought it would be an interesting way to depict feelings,” she says, adding it all came together while reading a translated work of Kannada poems by Da Ra Bendre where he dwells on the rasas (emotion) and rasika (viewer). “It resonated with the way I had been ideating this concept,” says Manasa.

The Pollen Waits on its Tiptoe is the title of Da Ra’s work,” says Manasa about the title of the exhibition. “Besides, I find pollen to be an apt metaphor for human emotions — full of life and yet, directionless for the most part. It floats by on a journey of purpose.”

In the works on display, “ A rasa is explained as the emotional state of mind, the purity of emotion, to be shared with the rasika or viewer, partaking in the artist’s expression and interpretation and sharing the moment in a particular state of mind,” she says.

According to the Natyashastra, the nine emotions are adbutha (surprise), bhayanaka (fear), bibhatsya (disgust), hasya (humour), karuna (compassion), raudra (anger), shantha (peace), shringara (love) and veera (courage).

Art by Marissa D Miranda

Art by Marissa D Miranda | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The show features the works of of 21 artists; while most are from Karnataka, a few from Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow, are also featured. Manasa says after going through their work, she approached artists to create art on specific rasas. While the chosen emotion resonated with some artists, a few felt their frame of mind was more inclined to another feeling and they worked on that, says Manasa, adding that the interaction opened avenues of dialogue between them.

“Artists are emotional beings who express themselves through their work. Though the theme was a rasa, it is a fact that we are not only capable of experiencing multiple emotions at the same time, but they are constantly changing.”

Manasa has sectioned the exhibition into nine parts with each room showcasing one of the emotions. Each rasa is depicted by two artists, and three in some cases. The media used are as diverse as the artists and the emotions they have depicted, and include painting, sculpture, photography, print, fabric, installations and mixed media art.

Art by Dimple B Shah

Art by Dimple B Shah | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Some of the participating artists are Dimple B Shah, Sukanya Garg, Shivaprasad KT, Pradeep Kumar DM, Amrita Nambiar, Akshay Mali, Nandesha Shanthi Prakash and Marissa D Miranda among others. Though their works are not titled, since the rooms are named, viewers are invited to introspect if each work of art reflects their own perception of that emotion.

The Pollen Waits on its Tiptoe will be on display at 7 Galleries, Chitrakala Parishat till April 8, from 10.30am to 6.30pm

Art by Sukanya Garg

Art by Sukanya Garg | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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