If the constant news of rising Covid cases and everything gloomy is bothering you, take refuge in the charismatic aura of contemporary art that’s set to cast its spell on Delhiites! The week-long celebration titled Delhi Contemporary Art Week (DCAW), has seven city-based galleries coming together for the fourth edition of this annual event. And the artworks on display will be not just from within the country, but the entire Indian subcontinent. Alongside, there will be walk throughs, talks, workshops and more, to soak in the spirit of art.
Putting this grand showcase together are the participating galleries, namely Blueprint 12, Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace, Latitude 28, Nature Morte, Shrine Empire, Vadehra Art Gallery. While they present the event at Bikaner House, they will also hold exhibitions, focusing on contemporary art, at their individual galleries. Talking about this citywide fervour for contemporary art, Bhavna Kakar, organiser of the event and director of Latitude 28, says, “DCAW 2021 is the first collective, large scale art venture to physically take place post pandemic and a celebration of the unity, zeal and determination of artists and art institutions across south Asia as they have overcome the many challenges presented by the global pandemic. After over a year of dormancy in the physical art scene, we look forward to this venture being a reawakening of sorts, as we collectively strive to get the art sector back on its feet.”
Shrimanti Saha, one of the participating artists, is showcasing her work named Confabulations, which comprises five small paintings and can be read as “dream scenarios , fabricated memory or even as documented information” that lead to a make believe world rooted in real experiences. Saha explains, “These paintings are like short stories with references, and are actually introspective narratives treading a fine line between fact and fiction, real and absurd. Working amid Covid was initially difficult, mainly psychologically. The only way out of it was to accept it, rather than confront it. I’ve always worked very reclusively in my home studio, so during Covid my work schedule remained the same and I’ve been able to produce works consistently.”
Artist Parul Gupta, whose work is also on display at the event, says, “My interest in architectural spaces and the movement in them often takes on two-dimensionality. This work is one of the ways in which I have been looking at movement in the fraction of a second. What if something shifts from its original place and how do I capture that moment of shift? The use of colour and pattern here are essential to separate the many layers of inked lines from each other.”
And visual artist Pranati Panda, who works primarily with textiles and stitching, says her concern is always to experience time and self, and the self in time. “Each stitched or drawn line is deliberate, and are lines of conversation between my hand and my brain. Each line is work through my thoughts, and I slowly realised my hand stitching brings the calmness to my life each time I stitch. In these difficult times, staying aloof of the outside world has led me to connect with the world that resides within. Social distancing, can also have its upsides. I don’t mind being bored, I’ve gotten really good at it. It slows time and I can really just observe everything more being in the process of my artwork,” she says.
Catch It Live
What: Delhi Contemporary Art Week 2021 Where: Bikaner House, Pandara Road When: April 8 to 15 Timing: Noon to 6pm Nearest Metro Station: Khan Market on the Violet Line
Author tweets @Nainaarora8