My name is red

A woodcut etching by Soghra Khurasani  

Soghra Khurasani belongs to the young breed of artists that believes in using multiple formats and media to give an expression to their thoughts. Now based in Baroda, the Vizag-bred artist has exhibited her works in the city earlier as part of group exhibitions. Her first solo show, now on at Kalakriti, shows how deftly she can use sketches on paper, woodcut etchings, digital prints and multimedia installations to draw viewers into her thought process.

Six small paper etchings, showing different stages of volcanic eruption, are arranged in a pattern of a triangle to artistically refer to the female form. “The blast is followed by flow and then silence,” she says, referring to the three stages of volcanic activity. The three stages stand as metaphor to the outrage that followed the heinous gang rape of a 23-year-old in New Delhi. Alongside these paper etchings, she began working on much larger woodcut etchings series. “Etchings on paper are relatively easy because you can retouch, add or delete. On woodcut, everything has to be planned to precision,” she says.

Each of these woodcut works took her over a month to complete. Tones of fiery red are oft-repeated in her work. “Red is the colour of passion and that’s what I see around me,” she says. The woodcut etchings titled Silent Fields, Beneath Shades Never Fades, It Goes on, Flooded Flow and Silent Torso also stand as symbols of political and cultural turmoil, violence, emotional outbursts and pent up frustration that women are likely to feel when their voices are repressed.

Exactly a year after the Delhi incident, Soghra and her friends from the art fraternity in Baroda came together to pay homage to the paramedical student. “Her words to her mother after the incident were ‘I want to live’. We dug deep graves in the ground in the shape of these letters, placed wooden logs and set them on fire, almost like setting her on pyre,” she explains, pointing to a series of digital prints that have captured these moments. A multimedia projection of the blazing ‘I want to live’ also conveys the idea.

While at the gallery, visitors can also view her multimedia presentation ‘this and that’ where by simple writing and erasing of phrases, she draws attention to staid rules laid down by the society — ‘wear this, wear that’ ‘do this, do that’ and so on.

‘Reclaiming Voices’ is on at Kalakriti art gallery, road no.10, Banjara Hills, till November 30.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 7:27:17 PM |

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