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It’s raining art shows in the city this spring weekend! All the Galleries in the unofficial art district of the city are either having an ongoing show or have one scheduled in just the next week. This while Gallery Ra’s outdoor show Lay Witness is already creating waves at the nearby Gujarat University Campus and one on Serigraphs by Madhvi Parekh started on Friday alongside, at Archer Art Gallery (See our separate review).
So while both indoors and outdoor Gufa Galleries are having solo shows by Mansi Shah and Shweta Rao Garg, Hutheesing Centre is the venue for a weekend group show hosted by Hobby Centre.
Shweta the artist and poet of the “Of Goddesses and Women” show and poetry fame has taken an avataar as an organiser this time. This is not only to give us a lay opportunity to try our hand at sketching or painting or even recite some stray long-forgotten poetry from our own or some other poet’s stable, but it’s mainly and holistically to take people out of the psychological shackles of the current pandemic.
We would really not know objectively if the Pandemic is on the way out – as news still keeps coming in of entire families and their helpers getting infected – but the whole idea of an exercise aimed at paying our respects to those of our near and dear ones who departed in the last two years and to lighten ourselves by shedding the gloom caused by it in favour of the way forward, is a very noble, positive and innovative one for it has the underlying of a healing touch. And this surely is not to say we let our guards down.
When we visited Shwaas venue on Friday, Shweta assisted by her family and friends was giving the last touches to her interactive panels, including one for kids. We really hope this pays off the desired dividends as action thickens further over the weekend.
Coming to the indoors Show at Gufa Gallery, Mansi shows off her dominant watercolourist side in Abhiroop, her solo exhibition that started on March 1 and has been dedicated by her to her mother who passed away recently.
Being a lover of nature Mansi paints a great deal of forms that eventually relate to the benign nature at large in all its manifestations. We see her urge and love for nature getting translated through landscapes, floral studies, building structures laden around with greenery, creepers blossoming in the spring all over, as is the actual season unfolding.
Another significant feature depicts even her feminine protagonists enchantingly gazing out of windows at the bare sky, clouds-in-making, flowing waters or enjoying the invisible breeze while simply lounging and relaxing near these home windows.
Rightly called Abhiroop meaning beautiful and attractive in Hindi, the show comprising these pretty looking forty two exhibits is done mostly in water colours and in sizes 13” by 19”, 19” by 26” and 26” by 34”. To try and work on the last of these sizes is usually considered a big deal for a watercolourist. As captivating as they are for their visual appeal, Mansi’s works are reasonably priced with biggest works even more attractively at a rupee short of Eighteen Thousand!
The group show “Chitra Thi Charity Sudhi” by Hobby Centre is featuring a number of artists from Ahmedabad, Surat, Bhavnagar, Limda, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Himmat nagar, Hisar and Pune and no wonder they also called it a National Exhibition. Curated by Jayvir Barad who is the young founder of Hobby Centre and Event Coordinator Raghuvirsinh Gohil, this show had earlier featured in Bhavnagar in the middle of February and has now travelled to Ahmedabad.
The show has in fact featured the works of a massive 56 artists as per its catalogue, bringing in a mix of regulars and known faces to others comparative fresh faces.
The fare displayed also obviously is a mix of themes and media within paintings but also has a couple or so participants showing photography.
The Hindu-Indian deities are a very visible and popular feature in the show (Mannat, Akshita Sujith, Anupama Agrawal, Yunus Sheikh, Soni Dhanvani, Dr Pooja Patel, Reshmi Nair, et al) and so are landscapes (Rajendra Lashksri, Shruti Soni), streetscapes, seascapes with boats (Hadi Devjani), cityscapes with built heritage (Sandip Prajapati, Anamika Shrivastav); festival celebration, decorative art or rangoli patterns (Shweta Rana, Purvi Solanki, Bhawna Rajput, Kiran Thakkar, et al); street life per se (Paresh Mewada), replicas of miniature art themes like nauka vihar by Zankhana Rathod, floral study by Avani Sanghavi; portraits or stylized figuratives (Garvita Patel, Hinka Modi, Dipal Patel), wild life and birds (Rajesh Baraiya, Manoj Patlan, Mukesh Kumar, Vaishali Patel, Vina Bhavasar, Jay Barad, Khyati Patel), et al and contemporary themes like books and studies have been attempted by the likes of Vishva Trivedi.
To dwell further on the Indian Gods, Jay Gohil has showcased interestingly textured half-abstracts of Ganesh and Rajvi features Krishna and others in the Pantheon, Meghana Bhavin Gandhi, while making her second appearance in a group show, has showcased figuratives detailing Buddha in mixed media and a very solemn looking Shiva.
Shiva has been a favourite of the season with chants and hymns of Shivratri still ringing in the air. Hutheesing Centre in fact was the venue of a just concluded exclusive show by Bulbul Rai titled Shivati that was focused on the legend of Shiva, Sati and Parvati.
With a great deal of variety coming from a huge number of artists located in different cities of Gujarat and other states like Haryana and Maharashtra, the two shows Abhiroop and Chitra thi and especially the interactive opportunity for interplay of art and verses, and expression of your wish lists provided by Shweta Garg at Swaas to bring us out of the pandemic gloom are all interesting stops within the substantial fare on offer this weekend.
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