Look at how art can connect generations in families, as 22 duos(or teams!) of Amdavadi mothers with their children paint together on canvas. Witness their tenderness and affection in the form of colours.
In JK Rowling’s popular tale, when Harry Potter’s mother cast herself between her son and the dark lord, his curse rebounded. The mother’s love kept her child safe through this ‘old magic’. Emotions of such love, protection, tenderness and motherhood flowed in the air of Amdavad ni Gufa at the Mother & Child group exhibition, for which 22 mother-child teams of Ahmedabad came together to collaboratively paint on triptychs. With charity as its purpose, every rupee incurred from the sale of the paintings in the show will be donated to Agantuk Foundation, Kolkata, which will benefit child development and senior citizens’ welfare services. The endearing art concept behind this exhibition was realised with the support of Art Tune and Agantuk Foundation.
Curator Giriraj Kadia came up with an idea to give three triangular canvases to each participating duo (in some cases team of 3) of mother and child and to ask each duo to make a painting collaboratively. Though some of the artworks are by artists, while others are by amateurs, all of the artworks are equally filled with compassion & joy. The artworks have been arranged linearly in alphabetical order, with the exhibition beginning with an artwork by journalist & aesthete Anurita Rathore Jadeja and her three-year-old daughter Ankulanjana. Rathore told us, “My initial idea was to draw using a brush, but when Ankulanjana started splashing colours on the canvas, I thought, why not just go with the flow and express creativity through freedom of forms!” When we look at Ankulanjana’s handprints protectively enclosed around her mother’s handprints, we can visualise the protective nature of the mother-daughter relationship. Kadia had reached out to each one of the participant personally. In his curatorial note, the focus was not on theme, but more on the joy and participation of mother and child in creating an artwork together. And it is deeply pleasing to view 22 paintings, each unique from the other, but yet delivering the joy of creation to the viewer, the purpose for which it was intended to be.
The show was inaugurated on the evening of June 12 by Radio Jockey, actress and producer Aarti Patel and her actress – daughter Aarohi Patel. Aarohi spoke on how the art & craft projects of school form some of the most delightful memories of her childhood, and wondered on the joy each mother-child team would have had experienced while making the artwork. Aarti Patel emphasised on the value of spending quality time with children, and complimented the participants for being able to spend time together and create art. Also present during the inaugural was Swarnali Pal, chairperson of Agantuk.
Mother Kena Multani and her daughter Anushka have painted a seascape with a tempestuous wave, spread across the three boat-shaped canvases. Multani’s painting was much appreciated by the Chief Guests. The Multani mother-daughter duo juxtapose the boat-shaped triptych with waves, as if to depict how waves help a sailor find push or pull in the sea. The boat shape of the three-part canvases was also interpreted by artist Shefali Nayan and her young son Aatman as a paper boat filled with elements from Aatman’s childhood memories–Parijat flowers and doodles–memories which he will heartily cherish.
A couple of three-generation works in the gallery left me most inspired. They not only depict the relationship between a mother and child, but also the virtues that an elder provides to the family while maintaining a balance between relationships. Senior sculptor, artist and curator of Mantra Art Gallery Nayana Soparkar uses tea bags to portray the daily milieu of her family, alongside her daughter Deval Patel and granddaughter Diya Patel. Soparkar explained, “Tea is a staple beverage in our breakfast, but we don’t allow Diya to have it with us since she is too young. So, through this artwork, I have allowed my young granddaughter to interact with a tea bag.” Artist Nikita Parikh Chauhan, meanwhile, collaborates with her mother Upama Parikh and toddler Niharika. Nikita Chauhan, who is very spiritually inclined and usually depicts this personal search through traditional art, collaboratively created a detailed Bani Thani miniature painting. The trio’s depiction of cows, a typical Pichwai-style female figurine and a tree standing in a sepia background, are drawing a lot of eyeballs in the exhibition.
Artist Saumya Pandya Thakkar who has, on numerous occasions, joined forces with her mother Shakuntala Pandya to create public three-dimensional art, portrays an embossed snail on the canvas. The slow movement of a snail seems to symbolise the mother-daughter relationship, which gradually unfurls through time, but never vanishes with time. Graphic artist Palak Gajrawala creates a surreal fantasy with her daughter Navya. Their painting is filled with elements that capture the many adorable moments that the duo share with one another every day. In the painting, the duo feeds a flock of birds and then dances carefree in the rain, making one think of how a mother relives her childhood through her child. Organic dye painter Ruby Jagrut, with her daughters Kaivana and Urja, portrays her family’s dynamics. The elder daughter plans to shift abroad for further studies, which is depicted by a bird leaving its nest, while the younger one’s growth is like that of an energetically chirping bird.
Each painting at the exhibition depicts a special bond between generations. Onlookers should take their family and even their elders along to the Herwitz Art Gallery at Amdavad Ni Gufa to create a special moment for their families. The artworks are available on a ‘bidding’ basis, with base price being Rs. 4500/- for each artwork. The show is open to all, every day from 04:00 PM to 08:00 PM until June 17.
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