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Anatomise-2-Purvai-Rai

CONFLUENCE

CONFLUENCE

Purvai Rai

June 15  –  July 15, 2021

Confluence presents 25 paintings/collages created by Purvai Rai through the past year of the pandemic. For the 26-year-old artist, the last year marked a period of grief and anxiety; as the pandemic ripped through the city sparing none, her constant nightmare was – what if she carried the infection with her within the safety of her home where her parents lived? The works reflect upon the day-to-day life around her as much as the abstract encounters that haunt her, evoking the memories of tragedies she has witnessed through news reports and photographs.

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Anatomize-1-Purvai-Rai

Anatomize 1

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches

2021

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Anatomise-2-Purvai-Rai

Anatomize-3-Purvai-Rai

Anatomize-4-Purvai-Rai

Anatomize-5-Purvai-Rai

Anatomize 2, 3, 4 & 5
Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper
29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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Confluence is divided into five groups, titled ‘Anatomize’, ‘Threshold’, ‘Reclamation’, ‘Coalesce’ and ‘Final Dispositions’, each containing five art works. In black and white, the works are starkly beautiful and delicately layered, reminding one of floating feathers, and sometimes of debris washed up on ocean beds. The use of paint varies from heavy blobs of black acrylic to a more gentle shading of grey-black that hints at bruising.

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Threshold-1-Purvai-Rai

Threshold 1

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches

2021

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Threshold-2-Purvai-Rai

Threshold-3-Purvai-Rai

Threshold 2 & 3

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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Threshold-4-Purvai-Rai

Threshold-5-Purvai-Rai

Threshold 4 & 5

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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All the works in this oeuvre are framed within a rectangular border that could mean a boundary, the walls of a house, a courtyard, or a room, maybe, offering shelter. Why would the householders be seeking shelter, you wonder. And then she speaks and the images begin to tell a story that is partly elegiac and partly fairytale.

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Reclamation-1-Purvai-Rai

Reclamation-2-Purvai-Rai

Reclamation 1 & 2

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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Reclamation-3-Purvai-Rai

Reclamation-4-Purvai-Rai

Reclamation 3 & 4

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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Reclamation-5-Purvai-Rai

Reclamation 5

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches

2021

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“Morality is the extraordinary reasoning capacity that has made civilization possible. Our intimate and collective identities are an evolutionary adaptation of morality that binds and divides us. That definition is where my practice begins.”

– Purvai Rai

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Purvai Rai is a Delhi-based graphic designer, textile designer and multimedia artist. Rai’s delicate graphite and ink drawings on rice paper are conceived in response to social and political events, specifically those caused by religious and cultural discrimination. Distilled into an abstract visual language consisting of circles and elliptical patterns, Rai alludes and (re-)presents the precariousness of existences on the margins. She also works with natural materials like jute, cotton, and yarn. She is particularly interested in the tactility of these natural fabrics, and how in the recesses of its weaves reside familial and generational memory, waiting to be inherited as clothes are passed on from parent to child.

Purvai Rai completed her Bachelor’s degree from Srishti Institute for Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore in 2017. She has been a part of several group shows, among them ‘Abstract Notations’ curated by Jesal Thacker at Gallery Espace in 2020, ‘All is not lost’ curated by Saloni Doshi at Sakshi Gallery in 2020, ‘What is contemporary’ curated by Anushka Rajendran at Art Alive Gallery in 2019, and ‘Art Now’ curated by Sunaina Anand at Lalit Kala Academy in 2019.

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Coalesce-1-Purvai-Rai

Coalesce 1

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches

2021

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Coalesce-2-Purvai-Rai

Coalesce-3-Purvai-Rai

Coalesce-4-Purvai-Rai

Coalesce-5-Purvai-Rai

Coalesce 2, 3, 4 & 5

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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The drama of space and spatial variance is an integral part of Purvai’s abstraction; the interface of light and dark creating a landscape that is intimate and turbulent in turns. The designer in her keeps asymmetry and irregularity at bay and she laughingly admits that she uses a scale to create lines, because precision is so important. Yet beyond the lines, there are forms that are more pliable, the sense of chaos, conflict and the solitariness of man.

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Final-Disposition-1-Purvai-Rai

Final-Disposition-2-Purvai-Rai

Final-Disposition-3-Purvai-Rai

Final-Disposition-4-Purvai-Rai

Final Disposition 1, 2, 3 & 4

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches (each)

2021

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Final-Disposition-5-Purvai-Rai

Final Disposition 5

Ink & graphite on rice paper layered on archival paper

29 x 21 inches

2021

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Torn pieces of paper, partly destroyed, form landscapes of loss and longing, speaking of imaginary homelands. Where life and faith are at stake, her art seems to echo the words of Yehuda Amichai: ‘What I will never see again I must love forever’.

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Text from catalogue essay by Ina Puri

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