Painting on the Wall

Delhi “gallery”,Ojas Art,gets a concrete,physical space of its own near Qutub Minar

Written by Pallavi Pundir | Published: April 5, 2012 12:32 am

Delhi “gallery”,Ojas Art,gets a concrete,physical space of its own near Qutub Minar

There is a faint mark of paint on his cotton shirt but Anubhav Nath,owner of Ojas Art gallery,is too busy to notice. Around him,heaps of construction material lie on the floor as men clamber on ladders,touching up ceiling and wooden bars. Till now,Ojas Art has been a gallery without a gallery. It has no brick-and-mortar structure but hosted several exhibitions such as “Expressions at Tihar”,a two-year project at Tihar Jail where the inmates interacted with contemporary artists. Now,six years after it came into being,Ojas will have a concrete presence — a gallery called Ojas Art at 1AQ,Qutub Minar Roundabout,which will open on April 13. The inaugural exhibition is titled Roti Kapda Makaan,and features works by 23 artists such as Ram Rahman,Rameshwar Broota and Manisha Jha.

“My idea is to have a flexible space,a creative and art destination in the city,” says Nath,30,who used to organise exhibitions at other venues. “With Mehrauli becoming haute and buzzing,the gallery will be identifiable,” he adds. 1AQ used to be a multi-purpose property of the Nath family’s Indian Cottage Industries. “We have been using it for commercial purposes and,as far as I remember,there was even a cowshed,” says Nath,pointing to the farthest corner of building.

The first signs of the newborn gallery are impressive — a spacious structure spread in a straight line against a manicured garden strewn with sculptures. The Qutub Minar towers above the 60-year-old premise.

Artist Zachary Becker from the US has a performance art show lined up for the opening evening. Called Trained in Excess – Sweeten the Artist’s Mouth,it will have Becker engaging in an unconventional performance. “Ojas is a space that brings together senior artists along with emerging names,” he says.

The title Roti Kapda Makaan is an instant reminder of political slogans. “This is a war cry for our politicians as they go vote-seeking. But,these are also the universal needs of every person. I wanted to see how artists explore this idea,” he explains. Among the exhibits is Broota’s photographic work,Roti and Arunkumar HG’s photographic prints.

The exhibition will be held from April 14-May 13. Contact: 011-26644145

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