21 September 2020 05:58 PM

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SARAH AHMAD | 20 SEPTEMBER, 2015

A Rendezvous With Art

Abir Karmakar


They crossed paths, whispered stories in empty air, light passing through a prism, unknown, into the unknown, by the back alley, looking up into open skies; they had a story, and she did too. Parallel sidewalks, one almost empty, the other carrying stories into the daylight, a weathered door to stainless steel stations, of food, and fruits, of wine, to white table cloths and stemmed urns, walking into the open, to a palette of colours, to people and leaf like pieces.

Paints splattered, rolled over, sponged, mopped, sprinkled, paints drooling, lathered into painted dreams; effervescent, vivid, lighted midnight beams. So the city speaks to itself, through notes of noise, chaos, grey, another city rattles through drought, in hope, of rains. Then at the turn of that corner, or further down those narrow lanes are arenas of radiant earth, narratives of self-expression, of brilliance, of art.

I travelled on another path, I saw other things, witnessed, captured, memoirs of red white lettered swirls, on a tram, to paths of history, a glimpse of today, the American way. On that end, Delhi unfolded stories of art yet again, a passage way once walked through, opened to another space, painted, schematic walls. Galleryske in Connaught place becomes the centre for a group show; three artists defining their art on walls in this centrally located art gallery in New Delhi.

Interwined Plasticity by Sunil Padwal, Follow Piece by Abir Karmakar and Brick Wall Diary by Unnikrishnan C become part of this group exhibition at the Galleryske space. Interwined Plasticity possesses a striking graphic immediacy, the drawings by Padwal waddle between abstraction and clarity. Enacting as a collection of unspoken thoughts, this work in three segments by Padwal draws on the past and present to mingle personal perspectives with reality of the present day. Sunil Padwal’s most recent solo exhibitions include “Shifting Frames”, at Go Gallery, Amsterdam (2015) and “Confluxes”, at The Arts House - The Old Parliament, Singapore (2014).

Abir Karmakar, an artist from West Bengal has widely exhibited in India and abroad. At Galleryske he exhibits a series of paintings, titled Follow Piece, dealing with the issues of voyeurism and privacy in the post internet age one is currently living in. Suggesting a reference to Vito Acconci’s performance art piece, ‘Following Piece’ (1969), Karmakar captures through his canvas, the quiet of seemingly ordinary scenes, turning to the inner sides of keyholes and suggesting a world where one is viewing private lives and personal spaces through technological devices. The ordinary brings in a lingering quality of disquiet as the viewer witnesses this through the filter of a camera lens.

An independently constructed wall, titled Brick Wall Diary, by artist Unnikrishnan C becomes a canvas for painted imagery and Malayalam texts layered in wit and ingenuity. Bricks carved by the artist himself have been created in his hometown of Pezhumpara. This wall becomes a piece of art assembled to dissect the space; together these fragments suggest various structural possibilities of space and human behaviours.


Artists are always coming together to display distinct identities, distinct stories on common walls, creating a united atmosphere of narratives, dissolving prejudices.

Art brings together; things and thoughts, weaving stories often speaking the same language, uniting lives. Art works come out of studios walls, art travels past villages and towns into urbane centres; educating, exhibiting, exchanging pieces of cultural nuances, personal tales and masterful pieces from various parts of a country.

The India International Centre in Delhi brings to the fore an exhibition of Manipur’s arts and crafts to a larger audience and aims to in the long run bring peace to the North East. Ima Keithel: Northeast India’s Mothers Weave Peace in Delhi is based on the Ima or Mother’s Market in Manipur where Manipuri women congregate to sell their products. Weavers and bamboo crafts women will demonstrate and display products such as Enaphi (a type of shawl woven in cotton or silk), Phanek (fabric wrapped around the waist like a skirt), Leiroom (handwoven scarf), and a variety of bamboo products.

In a world which is rapidly changing, into days of wars, into countless days of fear for some and hope for many; as we speak, as we lay in our bed, in deep sleep, this world is changing indeed. Slumber, hunger, burials, hate, what all could art replace, if only, this day a life could be saved, thus that hope for peace, paintbrush strokes, creating seas, storms and bright sunny days, playful horizons, a radiant haze, in hope, one day, sirens would stop, so would dirty, forgotten, muddy clocks.

Exhibitions:

Exhibition of paintings by Sunil Padwal, Abir Karmakar and Unnikrishnan C, at Galleryske, Shivam House, 14 F Middle Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi, on till the 10th of October

Ima Keithel: Northeast India’s Mothers Weave Peace in Delhi: An Exhibition of arts and crafts from Manipur, at Gandhi King Plaza, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, from the 21st to the 25th of September

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