An exhibition of the work of four artists highlights their expressions, its projection on our environment and our relationship to isolation
Privacy by Jayeeta Chatterjee
We know that respite is momentary, not only by definition but also by experience. Yet its offer is tangible, as secure and ephemeral as a cloud. In Ask the Clouds to Remember, respite and relief resides in the act of expressing a feeling or state. Curated by Shreemoyee Moitra, the art exhibition features four artists whose diverse visual vocabularies relate to an overlapping theme, which Moitra says is the search for sheltered space and the desire to visualize something again and to seek an escape from the tangled emotions.
The artist Anirban Mishra in his urban landscapes speaks of loneliness and alienation. It also serves as a strong reminder of the two years of the pandemic. Artist Puja Mondal paints a tapestry of personal memories revisiting his alma mater as a space that witnessed hard times but was also an oasis of calm. “My works act as a metaphor and a memory that keeps the memory of our time and its crimes alive,” says Mondal.
Each piece of art moves from an expression of our ever-changing relationship, to isolation, to seeking refuge to highlight the emotional weight of everyday objects, and finally to finding stillness. In Samindranath Majumdar’s 69 x 69 inch painting It Always Happens to Other People, subdued colors soothe the eerie landscape that abstract outlines can depict. The article comments on modern warfare culture, the action of other communities, and how the immediate effect of devastation is lost as it ebbs outward; the latter is represented through a grid made of rope on the painting, indicating a fence where one side looks through the other.
Closer to home are the woodblock prints of Jayeeta Chatterjee, who depict the dreams, conflicts, burdens and moments of rest of women in her prints. Chatterjee shares that her works contemplate the relationship between the sites and states of existence of a housewife’s space that carry their dreams and desires. If someone sighed skyward, they – as Moitra titled the show – asked the clouds to remember for them, so they could better understand or take a break trying to do so. Here, the cloud is the metaphorical canvas, and the relief comes from transferring a burden and communicating through silence. It doesn’t matter who holds the brush; the artist and the viewer find respite.
On: Preview June 23; from 18h
Until: July 21; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
At: Akara Art, Mereweather Road, Colaba.
Connect to: @akaraart