Of herbariums, hortoriums and home
December 6, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Artworks in Exhibition
The motif of the house in locating the idea of the home, with vivid fragments of the interior of a lived-in space shares in temperament the elements of visual formats of European book illuminations. The exhaustive nature of Nandini’s depiction is itself like a book brooding over the people who inhabited the spaces. Their presence all over the spaces is marked by their absence. The almost cinematic interiors, choc-a-bloc with objects, transform the viewer into an individual desperately looking for a misplaced belonging amidst the clutter of a lived-in space. The works are soaked in an emotion that results in a revisit to these spaces, a time without number. The filigree of nervous lines of Nandini’s compositions creates a labyrinth wherein the viewer is made to lose track of the exit, once made an entry into.
The exhibition is marked with a sense of vulnerability especially when one discovers a latent violence, camouflaged in apparently attenuated, oriental rhythmic patterns. The oeuvre of Paula’s works in this exhibition, based on the structural format of the chintz, is marked with the sensuality involved in organic, vegetal forms. Drawing from the tradition of chintz, the artist irrationally juxtaposes reptiles and birds with charged images of plants growing vegetables and flowers. Otherwise harmoniously integrated visuals, when carefully looked at, unveil disruptiveness. Unlike Nandini’s delicate drawings, aspiring to introspection, Paula’s compact designs are like erotic explosions in the guise of flora and fauna. The design of the chintz is again a pretext to talk about ‘the theatre of the absurd’. Interestingly, the artist has juxtaposed the studies of the vegetal forms that pave their way to the design format of the chintz. The artist here simultaneously denotes the process of the formation of the visuals, and the ability of these visuals to reflect natural abundance along with the aggression involved in it. Here, the chintzes are a world by themselves, resonating a life force and wilderness, intrinsic to nature. Emerging from an interest in textile and design, the chintz has long been Paula’s concern to reflect on a wide range of issues related to identity, body and the self. She refers to the chintz to mark the metaphoric act of acknowledging the inherent duality of life – beauty and risk.
Assistant Professor, Sculpture
Faculty of Visual Arts
Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata