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Sacred, profane

Curator Sushma Bahl brings together 26 eclectic interpretations of the divine in Devotion-Transformation. The object of piety needn't always be a deity

art and culture Updated: Aug 07, 2010 01:07 IST
Aasheesh Sharma

Curator Sushma Bahl brings together 26 eclectic interpretations of the divine in Devotion-Transformation. The object of piety needn't always be a deity. The devotion could be for a cause, an idea, the environment or a person. "Taken to an extreme, devotion can lead to renunciation and even revulsion," says Bahl.

Seasoned artists such as Arpana Caur, Satish Gupta and Shuvaprasanna, for instance, have showcased meditative portraits of gurus and godly figures. Others, such as Shobha Broota, Seema Ghurayya and Anwar, display an intense meditative streak running through their abstract imagery.

What catches one's attention is the digital inscription of Communist poet Pablo Neruda's 'Ode to Salt' on sculptor Kristine Michael's ceramic spheres. "Being the essential flavour of everything that we eat, salt is the essence of life. The idea behind the work was to find the inner self," says Michael.

Sheela Chamaria's 'Vatsalya', in bronze, is a tribute to maternal love, says the 39-year-old sculptor. "A lot of my works centre on relationships —between human beings or with nature. This one shows how a woman's life is transformed with motherhood. She is ready for unconditional love."

Devotion takes a different hue in Asit Patnaik's paintings: the quest for physical love which, at times, turns into an obsession.

Painter Sanjay Bhattacharya's 'From Power to Love — a Transformation' plays the fine line between the sacred and the profane. He achieves this through his characteristic icons of Krishna, representing love and Kali, who symbolises shakti (power).

Kolkata-based Shipra Bhattacherjee's 'He' shows an intellectual's head with lines in Bengali on his forehead. "As he reminisces about what could have been, the lizard symbolises the negative emotions. 'Instead of writing 36,000 lines of poetry, if only I had gotten to know my land better' is the writing on his forehead," says Bhattacherjee.

Devote an afternoon to the show, we recommend.

Art Exhibition From August 12 to September 30 at Art Positive, F-213/B, Lado Sarai