The Most Promising Young Artistic Talent in India, Curated

Our ‘first take’ on these 100 shortlisted works that are being exhibited at the Kanoria Centre for Arts and Hutheesing Visual Art Centre till the 16th of September.

Abir’s Founder Ms. Ruby Jagrut with jury members and winners

After sifting through 1360 entries– from places as far apart as Gulbarga, Imphal, Cooch Behar, Kochi, Kolkata and Hyderabad – 100 have been shortlisted for display at the First Take exhibition. A brain child of artist Ruby Jagrut, who sees the annual art exhibition as a way to promote young artists from across the nation, this is its second edition. Abir Charitable Trust inaugurated the exhibition on the 9th of September 2017 at the Kanoria Centre for Arts.


A comprehensive exhibition, it gives exposure to artists working with a range of mediums like sculpture, painting, prints and mixed media. Of these, 6 artists were awarded prizes in different categories. Jury members included illustrious members of the Indian art fraternity – Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Johny ML and Walter D’Souza. Madhvi Parekh admired the watercolours which are a part of the exhibition. Though the jury members had looked at the images of the artworks, she mentioned that they look even better in reality, with some of the artists have done really excellent work.


Manu Parekh expressed that he gives personal attention towards the craft and details of an art work, its sense of colour, and style of sketching. Though he personally doesn’t like to judge art, he appreciates the philosophy underpinning the private foundation’s support towards art and artists – a gesture that he feels is very necessary today.


The exhibition saw art connoisseurs and enthusiasts visiting it in large numbers. Delhi based artist Bharti Verma’s ‘143’ examines the idea of crowds and, paradoxically, the intense loneliness they can create, especially in a large city like Delhi. Using acrylic on canvas, the artist evokes this beautifully through an image depicting the infrastructure of the city, devoid of the teeming masses which usually occupy it. Krunal Kahar also explores paradoxes, using scales. Through ‘Cohesion in Depletion’ – a sculpture made with wood and brass – the Vadodara based artist inverts the scales and sizes of elephants and plant leaves to shift our sense of size.


In ‘Pregnant’, Abhijit Nigade from Pune emphasises on the natural beauty of a pregnant woman. By portraying her aesthetic form through a sculpture in wood, he tries to reveal the beauty that lies in the power to grow a new life.


Exploring the world of children’s dreams and desires is‘ Joy Ride’, a work in ceramic. It reflects upon the world that children create for themselves through a uniquely Indian sensibility, embodied in a toy-like form. Its creator Anju Paliwal from Lucknow received one of the six awards. Combining elements from childhood memory with dying crafts is also a painting by Gulbarga based artist Nayana Melinamani called‘He On the Way’. By reflecting on the things that one imbibes while growing up, which are slowly lost, she portrays the significance of folk art and its role in reflecting the essence of a culture.


Further along in the exhibition is an etching that layers fragments of information upon each other, drawing relationships between past and present, self and space, memory and experience, architecture and nature. Called ‘Hidden Memories’, it is a creation of Vadodara based artist Srinivas Pulagam.

It is intriguing to see how memory and the past have influenced many of the artworks being displayed.

The exhibition is an intrepid initiative by Ruby Jagrut and Abir, and we at CY laud the team for organising it so gloriously. Jagrut, in her speech emphasised on the importance of bringing people from smaller towns and not judging them on the basis of their educational backgrounds, concluding with the wish that Ahmedabadis may acquire all the works that are on display and keep them in the city. It is a thought worth seconding, and we are keenly watching the first ones to lay their hand on the art at First Take.

Photographs : Marmik Shah

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