October 25, 2017 4:47:25 am
Two artists from India and Israel have collaborated to organise a travelling art exhibition, The Plate and The Palette, in the city. City painter Madan Lal and Shirley Siegal, an artist, archaeologist and lecturer from Israel, have conceived the exhibition with a belief that if women of the far East join forces with women of the Middle-East, a change can be made and a better future can be achieved.
The amalgamation of two different applications of the same concept of women empowerment has been put together in a showcase depicting a connection between two ancient civilizations.
“Women can help each other in finding creative solutions to their distress and agony and can empower each other and break the glass ceiling,” says Siegal.
The exhibition depicts a “dining room”. The dining table has been laid with beautifully painted table linen depicting the five essential elements of life, earth, water, fire, air and space. Lal in his works has portrayed “food” as the sixth element that supports the human body to sustain, and has created sculptures with different food grains, with geometrical shapes the basis of the 25 sculptures.
The table is dressed with plates, cups, cutlery adorning the portraits of women that broke the glass ceiling — the first woman pilot in Israeli airline, a diplomat preaching for peace, a Nobel Prize winner all done beautifully by Siegal.
All the tableware and furniture are covered with paintings and portraits of women. It is a kaleidoscope of prominent faces of the East and West. The artists have depicted the women’s role as mothers, sisters and wives and attempted to bring together the family and friends around the dinner-table where conflicts and problems can be resolved.
“This is a call for women empowerment in both societies and for strengthening the bond between the two countries. This exhibition wishes to demonstrate the true meaning of women empowerment with men and women working together to bring about a change in their culture,” says Siegal, who works in oil on ceramics.
The project, explains Lal, is an opportunity to explore myself. “Siegal and I met during an art residency and decided to collaborate and it has been a fulfilling experience and a painstaking work. The forms in grains are like my childhood sand castles, the answers to my imagination, but truly an illusion. The root cause of developing the forms in wheat, rice, maize and seeds from different trees is the food we eat. The food that helps you grow from an egg and sperm to a fully grown individual, without which the mere existence would not be possible,” says Lal, who took close to 10 months to create these sculptures and also a few installations.
As for the geometric shapes, Lal is inspired by Chandigarh, a city dominated by geometrical architecture – squares, rectangles, triangles and many more forms. The choice of the colour palette for the project, adds Lal, came to him naturally as he has been painting ‘Urban Phulkari’ inspired by the traditional embroidered craft of Punjab. The choice of the fabric silk was made easy due to the natural lustre of fabric that resembles the present day glittery world. “Painting the table cloth to me was like painting the inner boundaries of my own self, from one end to the other. The journey was like remembering the beautiful moments, various instances, halting at different stations that can never be forgotten.”
The length of the table cloth is related to the addition of years in life after birth, as if painting the calendar of life in colours and lines, which had the finer details of all the important dates, events that had good and bad memories, the festivals, full moons and dark nights. The final cloth put on the table placed in the centre of the room depicts the layers of time relative to high tides of the sea. The tides which are born from the sea and they finally rest in sea; so is the table cloth, confined to the four walls of the room, on the table in the centre.
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