The usually vibrant art and culture scene, one of the distinctive features of life in the city, is reviving amid the new normal set by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A group show, themed “Lockdown Diaries” featuring 32 paintings by 10 artists, that is on at the Maison Perumal marks the first art event in the city since the March lockdown.
The participating artists are Anwar Khan G, Kathiresan Manoharan, Kirti Chandak, Lasse van den Dikkenberg, Linguessar C, Mounissamy Cassinad, Nirmallyo Ghosh, R. Radjoucannane, Suresh Chandra Jangid and Suresh K. Nair.
The exhibits include works in acrylic on canvas, watercolours and linocut on paper.
Some of the exhibits capture the dismal mood during the pandemic, the shutdown of normal life, the pain and suffering and the large-scale migration of workers.
The frames capture a range of emotions between either end of the spectrum, from the haze of an uncertain future to hope and optimism for life beyond COVID-19.
Artists have applauded the heroes in the times of the pandemic, from front-line healthcare professionals to farmers and transportation workers.
“A supportive space has been a feature of our hospitality experience. So, we wanted a painting show when we reopened recently to mark our return to the new normal,” said Sam John, manager of the heritage property in the Tamil Quarter of town.
More than anything else, the event was organised to encourage artistic endeavour in these tough times, he said.
There was been an uptick in guests, primarily from Chennai and Bengaluru, and many of them came down to break the shackles, Mr. John said.
Dutch artist Dikkenberg, who has come down to visit his uncle in Auroville, has brought to the show a few interesting works.
“Guitar Girl” depicts a girl with a guitar against the backdrop of buildings in Edingbourgh, his last holiday destination, in an attempt to “nostalgically depict the pre-corona western ideal.”
In ‘The Pauw’ (peacock) the artist portrays the experience of sighting the bird during a visit to Auroville while ‘The Schildpad’ has a tortoise crawling across a fantasy landscape.
Meanwhile, Alliance Francaise recently hosted an online book launch of French writer and academic Erik Orsenna’s Pasteur, la vie, la mort (Pasteur, Life, Death and Beyond) on its website and social media networks.
The event featured a conversation with the author.