It’s not often that one gets a feel of the material an artist works with. At exhibition at the Piramal Museum of Arts, Lower Parel, Mumbai, aims to give visitors a sense of that by exhibiting art pieces with the medium alongside it. The audience is encouraged to glimpse at the process an artist goes through in bringing an artwork to life. “Making Art: Materials and Technology” is the show curated by Ashvin E Rajagopalan, Director, Piramal Museum of Art, with art historian Vaishnavi Ramanathan. “We want to talk about how art is made so audiences can get a better idea of how much work goes in to make an art piece. The curatorial agenda is to teach somebody to view art better, simplify the process of appreciating it,” says Rajagopalan.
The different materials and mediums include charcoal, ink and graphite, paints and pigments, sculpture, printmaking, photography and digital media. “We have a bronze sculpture of Gandhi at the Dandi March. Besides appreciating the work for its looks and detail, the show takes your engagement to a different level where you can touch and feel the coldness of the bronze. So, next to the installation we have a replica of the material,” says Rajagopalan, “We want our audience to reach our level of excitement at an art show, and what better way to do that than to get your hands messy and experiment with colours, materials and ideas.” The bronze sculpture, by Debi Prasad Roy Choudhury, was done in the Dhokra metal casting tradition of Chhattisgarh.
The show includes works by other well-known artists such as KG Subramanyan, Jehangir Sabavala, Manjit Bawa, P Perumal, Laxma Goud, Ranbir Kaleka, Jitish Kallat, Reena Kallat and Archana Hande. There is also a fibreglass piece by Navjyot Altav and Velu Viswanathan’s, work of Casein paint (a fast drying, water soluble substance) on canvas. These materials will be available to visitors for them to apply their imagination to it and use it to create their own work.
“Our aim is to help people connect with art better by simplifying the entire process for them. It is important one knows how art feels, knows the textural basis to it, smells the paint and clay. Through this medium, I want to be able to change the opinions of those who find art exhibitions boring,” says Rajagopalan.
The central space in the exhibition seats 40, where visitors can sit and work with various mediums, from crayons and colour pencils to charcoal stubs. They have workshops on food, paper making, origami, and print making. “We are very excited about the food workshop where patrons will be able to make edible art. We are working with a chef who will provide coloured sauces and edible soy paper, enabling participants to play around with not just colour and taste, make their art and eat it to,” says Rajagopalan.
The exhibition is at Piramal Museum of Art, Mumbai, till June 15. Besides weekly workshops, there are guided tours on Sunday