|Installation by ©Kalpana Shah|
Yesterday I spent over three glorious hours at the India Art Festival going on at the Nehru Center Worli,
Mumbai, and what a treat it was ! Art galleries and artists from a good many different parts of the country had participated and what a huge variety of art there was to see everything from paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and paper cuttings.
Individual artists had traveled from as far as Chennai, Delhi & Kolkotta carrying not only their art works but also giving Mumbaikars an opportunity to talk with them and find out more about their art and their processes. Art galleries had brought along with them not just the contemporary artist's works but also masters such as V. S. Gaitonde & M. F. Hussain ( saw quite a few Hussain originals :) M. V. Dhurandhar, Ara , and some even had prints on sale for that easy on the wallet art craving ! :D
|A stall by Studio 3 Mumbai|
The one aspect of the art work that completely took me by surprise was the sheer variety of the media used. There was the good old oil on canvas, water colours, acrylics on canvas, pastels, a stunning portrait of a young girl which was in colour pencil on tinted paper ( I had to read the tag beside the portrait twice before I accepted it was pencil on paper, the rendering was unbelievable) Metal repousse, etchings on paper ( oh there were some enterprising students from Sir J.J. School of art making etching prints on paper on the spot as per client request ! ) Paper cuts made using the intricate Kirie technique from Japan and some beautiful Tanjore paintings by Mrs. Swarna Raja a Bengaluru based artist who uses organic as well as inorganic colours on a specially treated lime washed surface to create her work.
The high point for me surely was the installation by artist Jitish Kallat which was a larger than life kerosene stove completed covered every square inch of it in animals taken as is from the very famous friezes found on the walls and facade of the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus ( C.S.T.) formerly known as The Victoria Terminus. Every available space on the stove is covered with these animals and floral motifs found on C.S.T. friezes.The concept being just as animals survive by devouring each other we city dwelling folk too have a similar way of surviving off of each other ( well perhaps a little macabre but hey its true I think !)
|Detail of the kerosene stove installation,|
featuring a monkey
For those from the younger generations a kerosene stove was quite prominently used in most kitchens in Mumbai prior to the arrival of gas and electricity, I have some fond memories of the comforting sound these made as they cooked the daily meal :)
|Installation By Valay Shende|
|By Kalpana Shah|
It was truly a fun though tiring afternoon spent at the Indian Art Festival, and although I am sad that I could not listen to any of the ongoing lecture and talk series by prominent art experts, and artists, hopefully I can do so at the next year's event.