Mumbai-based artist Atul Dodiya’s oil on canvas Evening walk on Juhu beach shows Mahatma Gandhi walking on the banks of the beach with his close associates. This is inspired by a photograph from May 1944, during his stay in Bombay, when he would go for walks on the beach. It is part of “Carrying Roots Around” exhibition at the India International Centre (IIC). It shows a large uprooted tree, as if struck by tsunami, which floats above in colours of red. “I had been painting Gandhi during the late ’80s and ’90s. But after the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, serial bombings in Mumbai in 2002 and the Godhra riots, I realised how important it was for us to go back to Gandhi’s philosophy of non violence,” says Dodiya, 58.
Part of the IIC Experience festival that began early this month, the exhibition comprising over 30 artworks includes collages, sculptures, paintings and installations. It addresses roots as a metaphor through the lens of 10 artists. “With so many uncertainties, the show is a reflection of how the artist feels living in present times while carrying around their roots,” says curator Manish Pushkale.
Visakhapatnam-based V Ramesh’s canvas Saavadhan, depicting Sita crossing the Lakshman rekha, is a throwback of his grandmother’s stories from the Ramayana. Artist Veer Munshi’s personal history of being forced out of his home in Kashmir finds a voice in his Sharpnel Series. It has a painting of a young boy screaming in angst, perhaps denoting the anger of the younger generation, who are caught between the government and terrorist organisations.
The exhibition is at IIC till October 21