And The Art of Wood

The Cube Gallery

by Perin Ilavia

And The Art of Wood

The first thing you must know about Cube Gallery in the sleepy north Goan village of Moira is that it is eminently true to its namesake. Cubes form the basis of the stunning architecture of the home in which the gallery is based. Designed by Satinder “Sonny” Singh, case who runs the gallery along with his highly talented wife Carolina Paez, the structure is one-of-a-kind in Goa. Seeing it at night, with its recessed lighting, cube atop cube and elegant landscaping, is rather extraordinary.

The only thing that tops it, perhaps, is what you see when you walk inside.

Cube Gallery provides a nurturing environment for artists and designers, encouraging them to learn and test new techniques, or fine tune old ones, giving art a new form. It has evolved into something of a hub, attracting people from around the country.

Sonny, as his friends call him, graduated in architecture and completed a Masters in Experimental Animation from CalArts in California. He returned to India in 2007, choosing to live in Goa, as he has fond memories of growing up in Vasco. His wife Carolina is a well-known fashion designer from Venezuela, who, like him, thrives on creative pursuits.

“Goa attracts a lot of creative people from all over the country. I want to create a sense of aesthetics that can motivate people, an awareness to the art of everyday objects that we surround ourselves with,” says Sonny. This helps explain why the couple chose to curate the furniture exhibition “Art of Wood”, which previewed on 20th February. The show is inspired by the works of George Nakashima [1905-1990], a Japanese  architect, sculptor and  furniture maker who was among  the great innovators among 20th century furniture designers.

Exploring  reproductions of  Nakashima’s artistry, Sonny’s vocabulary captures the virtuosity of a deeply woven manifesto of art on furniture, revealing rather than interpreting the timeless.

The furniture should not be viewed as mere physical manifestations, but also for the awe-inspiring vision behind the work, translating people’s concern for efficiency into art with a utilitarian sensibility.

There is furniture of everyday comfort including dining tables, chairs, sofa sets and coffee tables. Amid the Art on Wood are paintings by the wonderfully versatile eastern European artist Elena Fedosenko (well worth checking out!).

Among the works is a wooden sculpture of a man’s face, extending an amazing expression. Each piece is choreographed and designed to dramatize richness of grain movement with traditional detailing. The process is laborious, slow and intense, with the seasoned wood providing richness and intensity.

Art of Wood is just one of the innovative shows curated by Cube Gallery. Recently, the exhibition “Artable” featured 11 Goa-based artists, transforming a series of white console tables into delightful works of art.

Call it avant garde. Call it pushing the artistic envelope in Goa. Whatever you call it, it’s nice to have Cube Gallery in our midst.

 

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