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Contemplative Imagery

Artists at Sensorium Fest Challenge The Boundaries And Dualities Of Life

The aesthetic depth at the ongoing Sensorium Fest at Sunaparanta, shop Goa Centre for the Arts at Altinho,sale Panjim is truly something to behold. The 39 artists exhibited there manifest many whimsical notes, discount ranging from the semi-abstract to the sensual.

Prem Sahib gives his audience a multi-sensorial feast, exploring desire, intimacy and sexuality. The cold exterior of a circular opening in a steel bed, with an ashtray wedged inside, looks clinical, but is yet softened by the glow of lights. Lines blur between public and private spaces, the forbidden and the permissible. There is shaved and polished bamboo, of the kind used as scaffolding at building sites; a dish antenna stained by termites is rescued and treated, its perforations transfiguring into a sieve.

Gyan Panchal scratches off the blemishes and leaves behind abstract drawings that elevate a mundane object to a revered position. The 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai and the stench of fear across the city deeply affected Atul Dodiya, and clearly reverberates in his oeuvre. Known as shutter paintings, a shutter rolls up revealing excerpts from a poem by Umar Khayyam, the Persian poet and philosopher. “We are dolls, while the Heaven is the player with dolls, in a real sense and not metaphorically.”

A. Ramachandran’s ‘Monsoon Flowers’ is a dapper symphony reflecting the monsoon mood. Women in dance and play rejoice at the shades of leaves changing colour amid dense foliage and insects. Don’t miss the image of the artist’s metamorphic image in a goat and a snail.

Manisha Parekh absorbs the viewer in the unlimited depth of blue, in the sky or water, with objects lingering in a dreamlike state with melancholy undertones. Disturbing the geometry of seemingly balanced forms, she dramatises mobility and stillness.

Mona Rai, famous for her metaphysical repetition, cuts and stitches pigmentation of fabric and metal foil. Her work resembles a gaming screen, divided by tiny black squares on the left and shimmering blue figures on the right. Circular and abstract black and blue patterns move into visible human figures, constructing façades of mosaic patterns.

Atul Bhalla

Alexander Gorlizki is a British artist, known to shift traditional miniature style into iconography. His contemplative piece, a king floating on a carpet with his lover below, a ghost sealed in cloth on a bicycle with a shining sun above, allude to elopement and secret love. Mythical animals offset the centrality of the cloud, referring to abundance, spirituality, redemption and tenderness.

Thukral & Tagra, from Gurgaon, known for their explosive kitschy canvases, integrate the duo’s Punjabi roots. Juxtaposed paintings show men and women sucked into pinball machines, where one aims to get the ball into the opponent’s territory. Characters are framed in what look like airplane windows, embarking on a journey. Will their desires, hopes and dreams be fulfilled at the end of the journey?

Surekha, a performing artist from Bangalore, integrates photography and video, using the body in multiple formats, through imagery extracted from popular films. Depicting extreme love, two films play simultaneously. One of romance and attraction, the other of lovers falling off cliffs in ethereal peace. A pitiful reminder that shame in love still exists.

The starting point into nurturing and rejuvenating intimacies, attachments, and fragilities is a home, for Elena Pereira. She deconstructs carpets, bathroom curtains, shaving kits, decomposed flowers and beeswax. A bed knitted from metal wire, where an exhausted body rests, is a fusion of personal narratives and memories frozen and preserved. Warm colour oozes in her work ‘A Look into a Cloud’. Crushed plates attached to memories, belonging and togetherness, are sewn together in ‘Appetite’.

A Ramchandran (1)

An associate professor in the Department of Art and Performance, at Shiv Nader University, UP, Sharmila Samant carries sound bytes of Goan migrants to Canada—what they took with them, who they left behind, and the customs they hold on to. She traces recollections of taste, smell and sound, linking them to memories of love and loss on leaving their native land. She thus pieces together stories collected from individuals in a video.

Aditya Pande works with tangling lines that evolve into ghastly yet comical surreal characters. The collage ‘Dramayana’, which on first sight look haphazard, is an intentionally diverse puzzles. Frenzied movements and fiery silhouettes emerge in the letters F-O-O-L embossed in a steel grill with an opening and closure, superimposed by projection of sparks radiating from the grinder upon the metal plate, lighting up the letters.

Tushar Joag, takes a satirical look at urban societies, with fifteen objects suspended in a crescent. A riot helmet, fused bulbs, broken cup handle, medicinal pills in shapes of the moon, a cup holder resembling a cut toe nail, the flicker of fused bulbs, etc. This lyrical juxtaposing of discarded objects becomes a metaphor about what one desires but dares not reveal, what one feels but dares not utter.

On exhibit till 15th February, at Sunaparanta, Altinho, Panjim.