Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Indian Art Festival- food for the soul !

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 !)
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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.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flowers on the road

A few years ago back when I decided to quit all the crazy designing and teaching jobs I was into -not that they weren't fun but I realized I was not really doing what I was most passionate about and simply had to get back to my easel,in this case my  furnace. I started experimenting with enamels on steel  & copper panels, with liquid and vitreous enamels. Mostly I was into wet packing a technique where you meticulously pack the enamel that has been moistened with water with the help of s small round brush. but I also experimented with liquid enamels and mostly just tried to get an even coat of the colour ( tough on a newbie these liquid enamels! ) rather than too many textures with them. Recently going through a drawer full of old and unfinished metal pieces I found a whole stack of these and thought I could use them or at any rate finish them so here are the first three in the series. They do not have a common theme running through because to begin with these were just experiments so here they are . I would like to hear ideas on how best to use them. I have a few ideas one was to have them made into box lids, I have some cute pinewood boxes and sell them or gift them. The other idea was by a friend who suggested I use them to create a larger panel which could be turned into a wall clock. Any other ideas ? Would love to hear them do drop a line. :)
One Tree, Enamel on Steel
© 2011 Nayna Shriyan

Flowers on the road, Enamel on Steel
© 2011 Nayna Shriyan

Gulmohar, Enamel on Steel
© 2011 Nayna Shriyan

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Arow heads fit for cupid!

Arrow heads for my quiver full of arrows sculpture
Will these arrow heads work for Cupid? My arrow heads finally done! Well not complete but here is their look, what do you think? These are the arrow heads and the shafts are going copper pipe with a very interesting joining technique , that I will be posting in detail later on. The body of the quiver too is in its final stages watch this space ( feeling like a tabloid here :P )