Mixed (media) Emotions

  • Aakriti Sawhney, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Sep 15, 2013 02:42 IST

With a repertoire of work having been exhibited at some of the most famous galleries and museums of the world, Brooklyn-based artist, Chitra Ganesh, is finally in the Capital for her solo show.

We met the artist a few days before the opening of her show at Gallery Espace, where she has converted the gallery into a studio, working on her site-specific mural-based installation and other mix media works.

“By converting a gallery into a temporary studio space, people are welcome to walk in and see, take notes and have conversations with the artist during her breaks,” said Renu Modi of Gallery Espace. Before my interaction with the artist, I saw the artworks laid on the ground, which from a distance, appeared as life-size replicas of a comic book. But as I got closer, I noticed the intricate mix media works with feminine characters as the protagonist. “We always see male characters as the main lead, why not females? I deliberately show women as the main lead in my works,” said Ganesh.

Inspired by Amar Chitra Katha comics, the feminine characters are shown in many shades — some just out of the books with typical and heavy attires and some bizarre and ghostly with extra limbs, eyes and breasts.

Explaining one of her works, Lantern Head — a ghostly feminine character coming out of a well with a lantern head, Ganesh said, “Wells are a metaphor for a closed world. It’s a common sight for those living outside of it but what’s hiding inside, we don’t know. So, the alien-like figure emerging from it is like a secret that people hide from the world. It could be our emotions, fears or a burden of relationships.”

Another interesting work, Zebra among Horses, is about how the two animals are so similar in their appearance, yet are total opposites of each other. One is a domesticated character and the other, a wild one. Ganesh’s work is a comment on how humans, especially women, are supposed to fulfil defined roles while they might be clamouring to be free from various social bondages.

“Most comics that we read provide a prescriptive of citizenship, religious expression, sexuality of a society and more, which is literature now and history later. Through, my works I’m trying to create a history that poses questions rather than giving answers,” said Ganesh, before signing off to continue her work.

Catch it live
What: Zebra among Horses
Where: Gallery Espace, 16, Community Center, New Friends Colony East
When: September 27 - October 31
Timings: 11am to 7pm
Nearest Metro Station: Govindpuri on the Violet Line


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