Notes on Paper: An art exhibition celebrates memories, feelings associated with paper

Artists reflect on how paper can act as a depository of memories and feelings at an exhibition.

Written by Pallavi Chattopadhyay | Updated: September 2, 2014 11:48:31 am
One of the works of Anindita Bhattacharya on display. One of the works of Anindita Bhattacharya on display.

The story of salesman Gregor Samsa waking up to find himself turned into a large insect-like creature in Franz Kafka’s novel The Metamorphosis inspired Delhi-based artist Anindita Bhattacharya. In her painting titled Cockroach-I, Bhattacharya uses coffee stains and gouache to paint a cockroach lying on its back. Over the years, as she shifted from Vadodara to Delhi after her studies, Bhattacharya’s works have increasingly become gender sensitive and are usually a reaction to her environment.

“The cockroach is one of the strongest species and has existed from the age of the dinosaurs. However, the image of a cockroach lying on its back shows its vulnerability. In the story too, Samsa turned into a helpless insect who could not crawl out of bed,” says Bhattacharya, whose works are displayed at Art Konsult as part of her exhibition titled “White: Paper Decoding Memory”. Using Mughal miniatures in her paintings, she often ends her paintings with a layering of jaali work, inspired by jharokas, meant for women to look out and observe court proceedings while remaining hidden from sight. At the exhibition, 18 other artists have explored how they use paper as a reflection of their memories and feelings.

Sweden-based artist Reg Fallah’s mixed media work Benaras II looks at the paintings on worn out walls in alleyways in India, torn and crumbled posters, such as that of a pair of eyes staring at an onlooker and the poster of a regional movie, with the actors portraying the role of a couple in love. Often during his visits to India during winter, Fallah would collect remains of posters from walls in different cities, thereby inviting curious stares from passersby. This work is part of his latest project “Nobody’s Art India”, based on a book by the same title. “It has been called nobody’s art because these designs were found on walls. Nobody consciously made them for the purpose of art,” he says.

Sukesan Kanka, 33, from Kerala delves into the effects of industrialisation on natural resources such as air and water, and health problems arising from pollution. During one of his visits to Noida, he came across many women wearing oxygen masks, who were diagnosed with breathing problems. This experience translated into an illustration made using pen on paper, titled The Time Now Passing, where a rural woman and a dog sitting beside her are shown wearing masks, connected to oxygen cylinders, as the smoke from a train engine engulfs the landscape. “It is just not humans, but even animals are getting affected by pollution,” he says.

The exhibition is on display till September 5 at Art Konsult, F 209, Lado Sarai. Contact: 65683083

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