Bharat Mewada's sketches capture Gandhi's journey "from Mohan to Mahatma"

These sketches made by interior designer Bharat J Mewada will remind you of the intimate photographs shot by Gandhi’s grandnephew Kanu Gandhi. The solo show was inaugurated by Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja and is open until August 12.

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With Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary right around the corner, this is the perfect time for the exhibition Gandhi Sangey, Maare Rangey! Mahapurush ne Chitranjali. A total of 44 sketches chronicling the life of the Father of the Nation have been created by interior designer Bharat J Mewada. “Though these frames aren’t chronologically placed, the artworks depict Bapu’s journey of transformation from Mohan to Mahatma,” said Gujarat Home Minister Shri Pradipsinh Jadeja, who was present as Chief Guest for the show. He was quite evidently joyful on seeing the artworks on Bapu.

During a recent tour to Milan, Bharat Mewada saw a public statue of Bapu adorned by beautiful garlands. “I was surprised to see how Gandhiji is respected all across the world,” he said. The Ahmedabad-based artist has been making these sketches since 2017 and, with the support of interior designer and artist Surendra Patel, he decided to come out with this exhibition. His first solo show, it opened on August 7 in the presence of Gandhian artist Manhar Kapadia, artist Surendra Patel, and Hon’ble Minister of State Shri Pradipsinh Jadeja, at the Herwitz Art Gallery at Amdavad Ni Gufa.

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A self-taught interior designer, Mewada’s forefathers were ancestrally involved in wooden furniture-making. He therefore never required to undergo formal training in design, being well versed since childhood in design aesthetics. Mewada also had a knack for creating art since an early age and pursued a Fine Arts course at Sheth CN School of Fine Arts in the 1980s. He now incorporates his sense for art into the design of spaces.

 

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The energisingly colourful artworks at Mewada’s show are prepared using dry pastel colours, crayons, oil pastels, and charcoal on paper. Each scene depicts a trait or life event of the Mahatma, and each sketch took 2-3 days to make as Mewada was juggling his professional life with his art.

Certain artworks are very stirring, like the one that takes a look at Gandhi’s last walk with his grandnieces Manu and Abha, right before he was assassinated. And a sketch in which he is seen to guffaw heartily while holding a baby is endearingly human. With rough lines, the sketches portray Gandhi’s subtle expressions as well as body language. They seem to borrow inspiration from the photographs taken by Gandhi’s grandnephew Kanu Gandhi, which are famous for providing an intimate view into the life of the man.

The artworks at Mewada’s exhibition are priced up to a maximum rate of Rs 25,000. The show will remain open for all, every day from 04:00 PM to 08:00 PM, at the Herwitz Art Gallery next to Amdavad ni Gufa until August 12.

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