‘Game of Lights’: A physical rendition of 'tamaso ma jyotirgamaya' by Chaula Doshi

2. Chaula Doshi’s ‘Game of Lights’ showcases

Giving a physical form to the famous shloka ‘tamaso ma jyotirgamaya’, artist Chaula Doshi brings us an exhibition called ‘Game of Lights’ that narrates her artistic quest in search of the proverbial ‘light’.

Bringing a one-of-its-kind exhibition to the people of Ahmedabad, Chaula Doshi’s Game of Lights plays with light and shadows, in the dark backdrop of the Hutheesing Art Gallery. The exhibition is an exploration of ‘light’, that depicts ideas of divinity, hope and origin.

For Doshi, these ideas were ignited by a famous Sanskrit shloka “tamaso ma jyotirgamaya” which essentially means the transition from darkness to light. Darkness here symbolises fear, despair, greed etc; while light is the antidote to these human frailties. Through her artistic renditions Doshi is trying to understand this nuances and is also giving the viewer an opportunity to reflect upon his/her own internal journey.

Game of Lights 1

The exhibition showcases 15 art installations of varied dimensions, ranging from 3×3 feet to 3×5 feet, that are made using madarpat cloth, with multiple layers hand-stitched over one another. The form that is created is quite simple, inspired mostly from childhood memories and natural scenery. The entire collection is devoid of colour, leaving ample scope for light to create its play.

Doshi brings the artwork alive through the illusion of shadows. Each piece is back-lit using LED lights. By playing with the thickness of the cloth and adding layers over them, the light shines creating shadows, to bring dynamism to the piece.

Close up of one of the art pieces
Close up of one of the art pieces that depict the fabric manipulation used.

On the day the exhibition opened, we chatted with the artist to get a peek into her thought process, she beamed saying that,

“I’ve always been inspired by the shloka [tamaso ma jyotirgamaya] and since the last 10 years I’ve wanted to dedicate a piece to its ideology. So, I came up with this idea about 9 months ago and started working on it. I also wanted to exhibit the work at a place where there was no external light. So that I could create the darkness where the pieces could glow. And Hutheesing was the only place where that was possible.”

A visibly appreciative Anil Relia, art entrepreneur and patron, present at the gallery brought about a fresh perspective, he said “There is an ancient rangoli art form called Sanjhi which was practised in Vaishnava Havelis. It consisted of hand-cut banana leaves that were cut in different forms and shapes to create an entire rangoli. Seeing these art pieces reminds me of those beautiful rangolis and she [Chaula] has also incorporated those traditional elements, like lotus, animals and birds, which is really commendable”.

Manan Relia, Anil Relia and Chaula Doshi
From left to right: Manan Relia, Anil Relia and Chaula Doshi

The exhibition is open at the Hutheesing Arts Gallery from November 12 to 17, all days between 4 and 8 pm. Go visit and find your light!

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