A silent yet grand show of art and the minds of myriad artists who have held high the ideals of love, freedom and aestheticism in their paintings has come to life at the show Episteme, at Art Centrix Space Gallery, Vasant Kunj, Delhi. On display are works by 10 artists: Pinaki Ranjan Mohanty, Kundan Mondal, Amjum Rizve, Manish Sharma, Mainaz Bano, Tapas Biswas, Soham Raha, Sangam Vankhade, Pratik Raut and Vijaya Chauhan.
As one’s eyes peruses across the gallery an aura seems to emanate from the depths of what is known as abstract art. Sample this: A saint lost in the tune of his sitar while he meditates on top of the world in an effort to realise his true self separate from his body and mind is a striking painting by Soham Raha. He reveals his art in three distinct paintings (titled I Am Not The Body, I Am Not The Mind) of the saint. Adding to the spiritual aspect one finds his senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste flying aloft as if free from the endless cravings of the world. “This painting revolves around the subject of consciousness which includes a vibration that indicates our invisible state of existence. It evokes a transcendental connection through the subjective realization of sound,” says Raha.
Moving ahead, one sees Amjum Rizve’s work Seeker and His Hand shows a man making love with nature, his naked body clinging to a tree on one side of the painting and a man lost in discovering the intricacies of nature on the other side – evoking mixed feelings of spirituality and abstractness.
Seeker and His Hand by Amjum Rizve (left) & Equilibrium of Inheritance by Mainaz Bano
Some of the other works that caught my eye include Sangam Vankhade’s Stepwell is a mini marble structure with intricately carved steps descending to a cool water body; Flocks of sheep struggling to free themselves from the fences that surround portrays the notion of freedom by Pratik Raut (this work is titled Freedom itself) and the Flying senses by Manish Sharma.
Stepwell by Sangam Vankhade
The Flying Senses depicts senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste flying aloft as if free from the endless cravings of the world. “This work is done in 24 karat gold and shows the struggle of the five senses to free themselves during the lockdown set off by the Covid19 pandemic. During the lockdown our restless senses were forced to cage themselves within the four walls of one’s house, and as soon as the lockdown was over our senses once again felt an unfound freedom which I have expressed in the form of a flight,” he says.
Raut, who also has another painting Seasons of life on display says that he draws heavily from rural life. “In Freedom I have covered the journey and life of sheep, which is much like the crowd we see in cities while the Seasons of life is from the time I spent in Himachal where I followed the lives of a shepherd community for three months,” he says.
Freedom by Pratik Raut (left) and Flying Senses by Manish Sharma (right)
Lush and sparkling nature in an abstract sense is at the center of most art works, with artists seeming to draw out hidden depths from the very core of the heart and their art. Dreams, imaginings, and morale fill the abundant space of the gallery. The theme of the exhibition epistemology, which is another name for knowledge derived from art, indicates that each of the works has more than what meets the eye, each work strives to convey a higher understanding of the world and the beyond.
“Through re-imagining and re-problematising ideas, concepts, methodologies, discourses and histories, this exhibition aims to create a space for realisations that can challenge historical as well as material relevance of the present,” says curator Monica Jain talking about the show. “There is also an attempt to generate different modes of unconscious choices and how those can be shaped, navigated and disseminated to open a field of artistic associations. From a curatorial perspective, the attempt is to create a deep awareness of the world of experience while we are experiencing it,” she adds.
The show is on till December 11