BY NAGUESH RAO SARDESSAI
Eleven artists have gone beyond pictorial images that typically stick to the formal definition of art as an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Contemporary art goes beyond this definition to actually document and elucidate socio-political issues and at times remain a benign though but energetic voice.
Newly opened ‘Achies Art Gallery’, Chandor, has put up an exhibition of works of these artists who touch upon such issues on a very subtle level. Ayesha Seth, Celio Mascarenhas, Katharina P Kakar, Fernanda D’ Mello, Harshada Kerkar, Aadhi Vishal, Manjunaath Naik, Shilpa Naik Mayenkar, Vitesh Naik, Vasudev Shetye and Mohan Naik.
Artists like Mohan and Harshada prefer to document innocent rural life, village folks, domesticated animals, tribal people etc. By prominently and overtly capturing these benevolent subjects they intend to spread positive visual vibrations. Their works exude a transformative energy that activates sense of belonging and hope.
Vasudev and Vitesh have developed their independent visual language. Subtly stylistic and reasonably distorted imagery in the paintings aid in apt communication. Speaking about social issues, current affairs, contemporary ills and at times religious stories, both remain truthful and honest to their contextual frame.
Aadhi’s mystical and surrealistic compositions float over the visual plane embellished with curious figurines and tiny synthesised forms. Female protagonist binds the whole picture plane and orchestrates the envisaged drama. Soft hues add aesthetic appeal to the pictures.
Ayesha’s colourful collages, pieced together from multiple pictorial sources, convert the seemingly unconnected images into cohesive unit. Fernanda’s bold and forceful brushstrokes add energy to usually mundane subjects. Oblivious to the practice of indulging in refined contextual matters, Fernanda is immersed in documenting the obvious in her individual way.
Manjunath is neater and precise with bright hues and delineated lines that define the figures. He is deliberately amusing and loud and tangentially closer to illustrative genre. Whereas, Shilpa has redefined her art by developing a unique vocabulary. Ants give shape to her imaginary world. Tiny yet precisely crafted form of each ant collectively conspires to build Shilpa’s aesthetic world.
Celio and Katha have put up their sculptural pieces. The former indulges in laterite stone and wood, whilst the latter constructs sculptures employing assorted scrap materials. Each has on display, interesting pieces bringing out the obvious from seemingly casual material.
This show should produce a significant imprint on the art scene and enrich the rich Goan visual art tradition.
(The current show will be inaugurated on January 24 and remain on view till February 24.)