Pune artists merge mediums to express the human side
As a child, Amrita recalls scribbling on paper and drawing pretty much everywhere. However, she never considered studying art as much. It was during her graduation in Economics that she realised her love for art. She says, “It was when I saw my roommate who was an Arts student do her homework that I realised what I wanted. Her assignment was to sketch people and I immediately felt like doing it. I saw that I want to explore that.”
That’s when she started to focus on creating art. However, it was still not about studying art in-depth. It was only when she came back to Pune after her education in Wheaton College near Boston that she took art seriously. “I came to Creative Club and bettered my skills here. A lot of my training came from here. The Club mentored and guided me to what I am today.”
Amrita, along with co-member Parth Palsay, has exhibited their works at the club. Titled “Between the two”, the exhibition explores the form of human figure and its abstraction as a way to express ideas of liberating the body from veils and filters. It looks at how public and private spaces impact an individual’s gestures, behaviour and sense of identity. The exhibition portrays the distinct yet complimentary styles of both artists – mix-media paintings by Amrita and sculptural pottery by Parth.
On why she chose mix media to display at the exhibition, Amrita shares that she keeps exploring mediums and a couple of years ago used black ink pen and paper. “I like exploring new things and currently I am in the phase of mixing mediums. I don’t feel like restricting my work,” she says.
Amrita holds a Master’s in Media and Communications and a Bachelor’s in Economics and Studio Art. Her artistic skills were further refined at the University of the Arts London - Central Saint Martins. She currently serves as managing trustee, Hope Foundation and Research Centre.
On combining pottery and art work, she says that even though the mediums are different, both focus on the same aspects of human, the aspect of loneliness, mood, behaviour and surrounding. “The art works are distinctive, but you will be able to see a connect as we were kind of focussing on the same concept,” she says.
On the challenges of putting together her work for the exhibition, Amrita says, “I had to put in a lot of thought and effort in every piece. I have exhibited in group shows before, but here it was different. The most fun part was seeing people entertained at your work.”
For sculptor Parth, this was an exciting process where he knew what he was getting into and was prepared for it. Parth went on to study Contemporary Art Practices at Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology, Bengaluru. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Creative Arts.
“Yes, the challenges came in terms of technical issues. For example, the first lot of my pots just exploded in the furnace. So, when I put in the next batch I was really scared. Fortunately, it all worked out well and everything was smooth,” he says.
With the technical aspects taken care of, he shares his process, “It is an intuitive process, where I start with a lump of clay, wedge it and work with whatever form comes naturally. At that point I do start a conversation with it and bring about certain thoughts and memories to it. These form the images carved on it.”
Though the duo did not have a word on what they will work on, he admits that they did share the stage many times in the making of their art. “While it wasn’t really discussed on how to merge the two, I guess subconsciously we did register our works and that eventually reflected,” he says.
Brush, scalpel, chisel and hands
Creative Club was founded in 1981 by artist late Bal Wad, former art director at Camlin India. Amrita and Parth are being mentored by his daughter, Sujata Dharap, an abstract expressionist painter and muralist, and Wad’s student Rashmi Bhadkamkar, ceramic artist and sculptor.
What: Between the two, a dual art exhibition by Amrita Katara And Parth Palsay
Where: Creative Club, Amber, Plot #16, Near Bhosalenagar, Range Hills road
When: December 8-9, 11am-7pm
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