A thematic group exhibition titled ‘Islands in the Sun’, previewed on December 11, 2022 at Hilton Goa Resort, Candolim. When you think of an island, it conjures up a vision of the sea, sand, swaying palms and beaches; but, this collection is a mélange of perceptions of an artist’s individualistic expressions, exploring a reverie, tracing tradition to the realms of contemporary art by artists from around India.
Anuradha Malhotra, Binoy Varghese, Brinda Miller, Kamar Alam, Manil Gupta, Nayanaa Kanodia, Nitish Bhattacharjee, Nupur Kundu, Pradeep Naik, Prakash Karmakar, Rohit Chawla, Shyamal Mukherjee, Sripad Gurav, Suchit Sahni, Viraj Naik, Vishal Joshi, illustrate multiple dialogues.
Curator Aarti Singh, owner of Polka Gallery in New Delhi, has curated several shows in Delhi with eminent artists. She was in Goa on a working holiday earlier this month and says she chose the artists for this show for their versatility.
THE ARTISTS, THE ART
Viraj, an alchemist in translating expressions, combines rough-hewn, tightly-contoured and neatly-combed countenances, commonly associated with Southern Asiatic stories and colonial fashion. He hints at moody reverie that brings forward traces of tradition to realms of modernity.
Prakash’s monochromatic semi-abstract figure on first glance seems like that of a woman. But, if you look at it long enough, you will find the figure of a man and woman in an embrace.
Anuradha’s paintings regale artistic articulations of form and formlessness, in conversations at different elevations in abstract wonder that gives views ripples of expression by fluid multi-hued staccato strokes.
Shyamal and Prakash create compelling discussions of the human form, being the most enduring of all subjects for artists all over the world.
Rohit is a master of still life photography. His subject – a leaf – has the masculine robustness of a protector and the sinuous curves of the feminine form, an allegory of the Purusha Prakriti, a principle that extols the inter-connectedness of man and nature. The curvature of the shoulder of the palm leaf, with a delicate feminine form in front, explores the recreation of the beauty of man and nature by dwellers in Goa, as does Shripad in his semi-abstract portraiture of Mrs Lobo, and landscape in reverse painting.
Nayaana a self-taught artist, projects a singular moment with subtle nuances, a dialogue characterised by combining atmospheric mood with flora and fauna and activity on an island. “The conversation I have created in my work is on a deeper level, equally logical and plausible,” says Nayaana.
Binoy opines, “When I’m painting, I choose the visuals from a preferred photograph, introduce subtle and noticeable changes to the figures and the compositions, hence making a personal statement.”
Brinda states, “Today, art is commercialised. But, even so, it is far more personal and satisfying; I always wait for my paintings to surprise me. I don’t paint specific figures or human activity, they flow from my feelings.”
Kamar believes that, “One should hold onto the greatest and purest of thoughts, which initiate and influence our words and actions positively, and create good karma, which acts as your vehicle of enlightenment, and connection to spirituality, wisdom, knowledge strength and positivity.”
Nupur combines her love for art and Indian classical music and dancing. “The rhythm taught in dancing helps me to make my paintings vivid. Painting on a large canvas makes me feel I’m dancing on a large stage.”
Shuhra says, “My work symbolizes the tremendous power to create and nurture my thoughts on nature, giving back in any small way to nature’s beauty through its endless forms within forms, spiritually connecting me and other beings and sensitivities dormant within me.”
Images and signs in earthy and colouful tones, defined by lines and strokes, shapes and forms in varying mediums and sizes, leads to suggestions of a narrative of spontaneity, energy, instinct and complex ambiguous meanings that reverberate in visual ideograms.
Art critic, Uma Nair, opines, “This show hums on the hinge of Belafonte’s words of the song Islands In the Sun. The lyrics are indeed a show that brings in the Yuletide carols and Christmas signature.”
‘Islands in the Sun’ will be on exhibit at the Hilton Goa Resort, Candolim, till January 4, 2023