“So many books, so little time.”
“A room without books is like a body without the soul.”
“The person be it a gentleman or a lady, who has no pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
These are some of the most popular quotes about the worth and significance of books in an individual’s life in the modern times.
While these four quotes by the likes of Cicero and others almost sum up the topic of books in a nutshell, there is one by Gujarati columnist Gunvant Shah that also pops up instinctively in the mind:
“je ghar ma koi pustakon na hoy, eva ghar man dikri apva man khoob jokhim chhe.” This in English means “it’s a very risky proposition to marry one’s daughter to a home that doesn’t have any books.”
Now that must suffice to start our present intent in putting the spotlight on a unique art show about sculptures and installations on the world of books, readers and some of their reading styles. Titled Safar Kitabon Ka meaning the Journey of the Books, this show of mini to moderate sized sculptures focused on the self explanatory theme of the books, this show started on Monday, September 20, 2021 at 079 Stories.
Fourth in a series of her mini figures, this one by Gallerist-artist Nayana Soparkar, comes after her memorable series of auto rickshaws (of Amdavad), bats and the last one called Echoes of Innocence also at 079 Stories, this one now explores the relationship between books and readers.
Made in clay, fiberglass, wood or a combination or mix of media out of any of these, these lovable exhibits draw on the very familiar imagery known to most of us readers of books in our personal lives: from sitting with a book in an old fashioned aram kursi, the recliner chair – nay now a recliner sofa – or a regular upright chair, or sitting on a bench to lying down on our back on the bed or in the lawn; or even in the Mayur asan for reading the favourite book or journal!
Besides capturing these familiar sculpted postures, Soparkar also goes on to put up installations comprising of clusters of readers, some even without books standing with their backs to us, or hanging from a shelf full of books, leaving their interpretations open to viewers.
The show stopper according to Purva Vasa Damani, Founder, 079 Stories, is a cluster of 600 mini figurines in a variety of colours, forms and expressions, all hanging on a wall; all of which together present a composite visual delight. The next best thing is another cluster of 200 figures mounted on a black pillar topped by a larger figure of a supposedly voracious reader who kind of presides over the rest with his wisdom!
Move around and you spot singles or doubles or groups of book lovers created affectionately and efficiently by Nayana in the mixed media. These clay figures have been painted brightly to create a world full of cheer and hope juxtaposed with gilt-edged books of all shapes and sizes!
The show with a total of 1000 shiny Exhibits which took about two years of working for the artist to create, presents a mesmerizing mix of artistry and imagery while it underscores the need for reading and possessing printed books in a world that’s changed reading options to e-books or even audio books.
A unique show to go to, this one is open till October 03, 2021
Both the team at 079 comprising of Purva, Parizad, Happy, their groundsmen like Bharat and passionate artist Nayana Soparkar need to be complimented for taking Amdavadis on this enchanting Safar Kitabon Ka!
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