ART 18 at Kanoria Centre : An Opportunity to Mingle with Young Talent

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Studio artists of the Kanoria Centre for Arts present their art in this annual exhibition.

Every year, the Kanoria Centre for Arts takes in artists working in the areas of printmaking, sculpture and painting, with its serene and green campus serving as a perfect place for its workspaces. To bring out the journey of the current batch of studio artists here, an annual exhibition called ART 18 has been organised at Kanoria Gallery for Arts. The four-day exhibition commenced on February 22. Of the group, the Scholarship artists also made presentations to depict their vision and journey so far.

The novelist Jerzy Kosinski once said, “The principles of true art is not to portray but to evoke.” I felt this while viewing some of the best artworks in the exhibition. “Emotions play a key role in my work of art,” explained a former Shantiniketan student, who beautifully depicts the concept of ‘co-existence’ by contrasting images almost ‘clumsily’, using vibrant colours. On the other hand, an artist from Tripura called Joydeep Acharjee, expressed that “there isn’t any emotional element in my work”. His canvas is a juxtaposition of architectural arrangements drawn from village and city life. Acharjee, intriguingly, never creates anything without using a ruler.

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Raka Panda’s art feels like storytelling on canvas. The narration of her journey appears in the form of acrylic on canvas. One of her artworks, which caught my attention, depicted the greenery of Shantiniketan juxtaposed against a blood-red sky showing a toxic environment resultant from global warming.

The works of artist Anil Majumdar also drew my attention. His vision seems to be shaped by divergent ideologies, but I particularly noticed an influence of Gandhian philosophy in his work. I spent almost half an hour staring at how he manages to portray violence in the work titled Unrest, which otherwise prominently depicts love and peace. By using negative images on a white background, he is able to depict contrasting viewpoints. His artwork combines mixed-media with print making technique. Also worth mentioning is the art of Hiral Bhagat, which beautifully uses the Gujarati script and converts it into a form that’s nearly abstract, creating an interesting visual dimension. The exhibition is not just limited to paintings and prints. There are some wonderful sculptures on display, made using a variety of materials.

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While I was exploring the exhibition, I wondered why art is so soothing. I tried to find an answer. Art is not merely the making of a thing or product. It is the artist’s love taking shape in his work. The making of an artwork is a highly cathartic experience. Most of the artists who have displayed their work in this exhibition are either from Ahmedabad or have moved to the city recently. Their feelings and emotions seem to concern their prior life, and their life in Ahmedabad, and are captured in their works. Each work seems to me to be a purgation of emotion of each artist. And it is said that an excellent piece of art cajoles its viewers into adopting the emotions of the artist.

Alongside this exhibition, there are also workshops being held at ART 18. These are workshops on Indian crafts like Terracotta Work, Woodcut Printmaking and Zardosi Embroidery, which are being conducted by Mayadhar Sahu, Niti Patel and Shahid Ansari, respectively, between 3 to 5 PM every day, till February 25.

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ART 18 will end on February 25, which is this Sunday, I would highly recommend that everyone grab the first chance to have a look at the inspiring works on display.

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