White light descends from the top of the canvas,changing colours and eventually blending into the red at the bottom. The process is aimed at visually representing the metaphysical that Pune-based artist Suhas Wagle often encounters in his philosophical and mystical readings. The artwork,titled The Creator and the Creation,was made during a demonstration as part of the ongoing painting exposition,Anokhii.
Offering an insight into his work,Wagle says,God is the pure white light,the sweet nectar which descends in the form of universe first as a cosmic annahat the sound of Om complimented by the spot of creation,which is the bindu. All this while,the god is guided by kala,the power of creation. God further descends in the form of maya,ultimately condensing into mankind,made up of five elements. The Earth,one of the five and what man eventually percolates into,has been depicted at the bottom of my canvas,in red.
Back in Pune for the second time,the exposition that began on September 1 has brought under the roof of Malaka Spice,Koregaon Park,works by 30 artists from across the country. The catalogue boasts of both established and new artists,whose works could give a glimpse of the current art scene in India.
Maniilal Sabrimala,Founder and Director of Anokhii,has been taking his concept around the world. Sabrimala is an artist himself,based in Hyderabad,and his works are also on display at the showcase. Explaining its aim,Sabrimala says,I charge the artist an entry fee to exhibit his/her works. Later,if a painting interests a buyer,he/she is introduced to the artist for both the parties to strike a deal. Anokhii does not charge any commission on the proceeds. As an artist,Sabrimala is inspired by philosophy and mythology. Most of my inspirations come from voracious reading, he says.
Explaining the importance of demonstrations at Anokhii,city-based veteran artist Murli Lahoti,who inaugurated the event and has a painting on display,says,The artist speaks in a different language. His grammar consists of lines and colours. But the layman does not speak or understand this language. Sometimes,the poetry is so sweet that,despite being abstract or alien,it draws the spectator into its feeling. Otherwise,the next best option is to break every step down for the audience and explain to them their significance.
Lahoti likes conducting demonstrations. It makes an artwork more understandable to the beholder, says Lahoti,who deals with abstract interpretations of subjects such as space,nature and creation. In hindsight,Lahoti is surprised by the reaction any artwork digressing from realism gets in this country. Our mythology has inspired abstract and modern art,way before the Western faculties; the visual representation of a deity with the body of a man and the head of an
elephant or a super intelligent antagonist,Ravana,depicted as having 10 heads is modernist.
Impressed by the initiative,Lahoti says,A platform such as Anokhii brings the seniors and the juniors on the same plane. This gives a boost to the confidence of newer artists.
Among the works of relatively new artists displayed here are paintings by Delhi-based Rekha Gurtu. After a long hiatus post art school,Gurtu has been painting incessantly for the past four years. My subjects are women and nature,the roots of creation. The main point of focus in my paintings is the expression of my female subject. The two works here portray wanting and satisfaction,respectively,through the subjects expressions. Unable to attend the exposition,she expresses regret and says,An event like this is a confluence of artists and ideas. It could have been very educative.