Art show Hyderabad

What is your sign?

Pradosh Swain

Pradosh Swain   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


Delhi-based artist Pradosh Swain explores 12 zodiac signs with a focus on social messages

Pradosh Swain’s works that explore 12 zodiac signs — though surreal — are not the usual works revealing the traits of these signs. Interspersed with a social message, the 24-acrylic and oil paintings make us aware of the change happening in society. The Delhi-based artist’s exhibition, titled ‘Zodiac Zing’, at Aalankritha Art Gallery has two two themes — zodiac signs with trees and stones.

One of the works on the seventh astrological sign Libra is inspired by its ‘equal’ sign. Says Pradosh, “Libra stands for equality, so the Nature we have destroyed should be compensated equally by creating an environment to help it grow back.” An Aries person is headstrong and punctual and the work encourages us to become close to nature and sustain it else, we might become insignificant like dust. Leo is considered the king of the jungle and because of deforestation the lion is forced to enter villages and fight for its survival. The artist explains his reasons to work with zodiac signs is to bring their focus on the other social issues in the painting. “It is a research-based work. Many people are curious about zodiac signs and when they watch these paintings, they will inadvertently look at the other issues mentioned in it.”

Aries - a work by Pradosh Swain

Aries - a work by Pradosh Swain   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Pradosh did his Fine Arts from Bhubaneshwar and worked in Orissa state museum for 12 years and also displayed his paintings. Vexed with his mundane government job and a dull art scenario, Pradosh took a risk and resigned his stable job to move to Delhi. “If god has given me the talent, there must be a purpose to it. Also, there was no challenge to my creativity, ” he recalls. Being a gold medallist in the art college, he felt if his juniors can settle well in the art field, he too can make it.

He shifted along with his wife and two-and-half-year old son to Delhi in 2006 and after initial struggle, created a space for himself. “There are thousands of artists working in Delhi and to stand out, I had to bring some uniqueness to my work. I was willing to struggle and take on the challenges.” He says the capital city has helped him to fulfil his belief that ‘art is not just for beauty but has the power to change world. I believe in art, which has a social message.”

Gemini - a work by Pradosh Swain

Gemini - a work by Pradosh Swain   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The artist has worked on different themes highlighting different causes. Some of his works were on climate change, urbanisation, Nature, child labour and lost childhood. One of his works titled ‘Imported from Mars’ highlighted the modern scenario of drying water resources. “It is an irony that our earth is covered with 70 per cent of water yet we have this global water crisis and importing water,” he remarks.

Pradosh has got a senior fellowship in CCRT in Delhi and is working on a series based on Hindustani music. The artist considers the series completion will be his gift to himself. “During my museum stint in Bhubaneshwar, there was a mention of raag in pata chitra. I am still researching on it and trying to visualise in contemporary style.”

(Zodiac Zing is on at Aalankritha Art Gallery till January 20)

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:08:27 PM |

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