NEWS AND FEATURES

Jamaat's anniversary show, Contemporary Art festival and a photography exhibition

The Festival of Contemporary Art
One of Mumbai's newest galleries, Jasubhai Art Gallery at Shanmukhananda Hall, is hosting the Festival of Contemporary Art. The show features country's 100 eminent artists.

The three-week festival starting on January 10 comprises paintings and sculptures devoted to the visual arts and will. It also includes events aimed at spreading awareness of art such as lectures on art and aesthetics apart from an introduction to art appreciation conducted by authorities in the field including Ranjit Hoskote, Prabhakar Kolte, Madhulika Johri and Suhas Bahulkar.

While 80 per cent of the exhibition is on sale, works of some noted artists are being included in the show purely for the sake of giving a complete picture of Indian contemporary art under one roof. Sunil Chauhan of Artland is the chief curator of the event. Some of the artists whose works are on display include K H Ara, K K Hebbar, M F Husain, Naina Kanodia, Yusuf Arakkal, Subhash Awchat, Madhusudan Kumar, Rekha Rao and from the younger lot Priti Deorukhkar, Nitin Utge and Prajakta Potnis. According to him, this is an effort to decentralize the art events concentrated mostly in South Mumbai and spread awareness among the young in North Mumbai as well.

The lectures and demonstrations in sculpture or paintings to be held at Jasubhai Art Gallery are directed towards fulfilling this aim. Students will get a chance to interact with senior artists. The Artland, promoting Jasubhai Art Gallery as an exhibition space in North Mumbai, is presenting this festival and it continues till January 31.


Jamaat celebrates fourth anniversary
On the eve of its fourth anniversary, Jamaat Art Gallery in South Mumbai is doing a special show to "CELEBRATE BOMBAY" with the paintings by Natu Mistry.

Pravina Mecklai of Jamaat says, "Look what this city has given to us all. This is a city of opportunity, where a person with hard work and grit can make it. Where Jamshedji could build the Taj Hotel to thumb his nose at the British, right opposite the Gateway of India commemorating them. Where the indigo and cotton traders made their millions. Where Dhirubhai Ambani could shake the stock market and turn Indian industry and business on its head. And where today all India's brightest and best flock to get a piece of the action, movie stars, fashion models, corporate clones, and wheeler-dealers. This is where they all want to be. To say thank you for all that Mumbai has given to me and mine, I wanted to do a show to CELEBRATE BOMBAY. Where I was born and brought up and now bring up my own. Natu Mistry and I got together, talked it over and then went around to see the city and feel the mood."

The show celebrates a city with heart, a city that responds to a newspaper article, an appeal for help, and a communal riot. What has come through is here for you to see. Exquisitely detailed black and white paintings capturing the places and the people of the city. From the Gateway of India and Taj Hotel, Afghan Church, Nariman Point, and the great Gothic buildings of Rajabhai Clock Towers, V.T. Station. The Stock Exchange, Mumbadevi Temple, and the heritage area of Flora Fountain, Horniman Circle, the grand Asiatic Library, around to the Oval and to elegant Marine Drive.

The fourth anniversary show continues till February 6, 2003. The gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. [except Sundays]

Photography exhibition in Chennai
One of Chennai's newest gallery spaces, Ashvita, located in Mylapore is hosting an exhibition of photographs by Karuna Sesh and G Simon.

For Both Karuna and Simon this is a maiden venture to exhibiting their photographs. The exhibition is to be concluded by slide shows and lectures in the evenings, and an attempt to revive the Photographic Society of Madras, steering it towards promoting education, photographers and photography.

The show comprises photographs taken in and around Chennai. One gets to see meticulous images from Kancheepuram, Gingee Fort and Mahabalipuram. The frames are carefully done and shot with seemingly simple compositions albeit giving a different view of the familiar landmarks of India's famous metro. Karuna's images show his eye for subtle details as he approaches each subject from an uncommon angle. Interestingly, he took to photography merely as a hobby way back in 1986. Taking time off from his construction business, he took these images for personal satisfaction.

Also on view are photographs by G Simon whose favorite subject is the Muttukkadu Lake. Simon studied art at the Government College of Arts and had worked as a textile designer. He also started photography as a hobby. His series on boats conveys the ambience of a calm day on the placid waters reflecting upon the solitude of the empty anchored boats.

The exhibition continues till January 13.


India's art-craft traditions on display in Bangalore
India's rich art and craft traditions are all about myriad designs and hues, motifs and timeless tales mostly kept alive by the tribal populations of India, The tribals of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have retained the soul of their ancient craft practices.

Chattisgarh is one of India's newly created states with predominantly tribal population. The glimpses of its artistic traditions are on view in Bangalore. One gets to see the traditional Marbahi form of hand embroidery and the kosa or ahimsa silk, which have become synonymous with the state. The tribal artists of Chattisgarh have already been appreciated at the national level at the annual International Trade Fair held in New Delhi.

Weaving constitutes one of the primary sources of livelihood in the state which is just about two years old having been separated from the state of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000. Bastar, now a part of the new state, is home to India's rich traditional art and craft traditions. The Marbahi form of hand embroidery is nearly 150 years old. It takes not less than half a year to embroider a single sari the process is quite complicated and time-consuming, as the artisans need to trace designs from paper onto the plain material and painstakingly embroider each motif. These motifs mainly capture the tribal life and the lifestyle.

The silk used is one of a kind it is generated through an ingenious procedure without killing the silkworms. The seeds of the Mahuwa tree are crushed and dried in the sun to make a powder. It is strewn liberally at the base of the mulberry trees at night. Timing is crucial and this procedure can be followed only 45 days after the formation of the cocoons. The morning after, the silk worm, unable to withstand the overbearing smell of the powder, force their way out of the cocoon. Silk is then extracted from the abandoned cocoons. Nearly 300 meters of silk can be woven out of a single silk cocoon.

The exhibition is on view at the Palace Grounds, Bangalore till January 15 and the exhibits are for sale.

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