Female warriors come alive in multimedia art at an exhibition all this month | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Female warriors come alive in multimedia art at an exhibition all this month

Synchronised videos, chalkboards featuring wiped-out drawings, cane accessories come together in Shakuntala Kulkarni’s work.

mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2018 08:41 IST
Jayati Bhola
Jayati Bhola
Hindustan Times
Shakuntala Kulkarni says the soldiers in the videos represent power, gracefulness and courage.
Shakuntala Kulkarni says the soldiers in the videos represent power, gracefulness and courage.
Julus and other stories
  • WHERE: Gallery Chemould, Queens Mansion, Fort
  • WHEN: Until April 7; 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Sundays
  • ENTRY IS FREE

Shakuntala Kulkarni’s multimedia project, Julus And Other Stories, is designed to be many things at once. There are four synchronised videos featuring female warriors adorning cane accessories, holding spears, marching or standing.

Huge chalkboards feature wiped-out drawings with just the outline of those warriors remaining. The reference has been taken from the terracotta warriors of China. The artist says they represent power, gracefulness and courage.

A separate section showcases the warriors’ cane accessories as if in a jewellery store. “I wanted to show how every material object is valuable and how we perceive them,” Kulkarni says.

Kulkarni has been showing parts of this project for seven years. It has travelled to Dhaka, Delhi and Mumbai. This is the first time it has all come together.

Kulkarni has known Shireen Gandhy, owner of Chemould, for over 30 years. “My mother, Kekoo Gandhy, first discovered her,” Gandhy says. “Shakuntala has constantly reinvented herself and is an integral part of contemporary art language; her works fits very much with the gallery’s vision.”

Kulkarni has been showing parts of this project for seven years. It has travelled to Dhaka, Delhi and Mumbai. This is the first time it has all come together. “These boards with chalk-drawings had been lying in my studio,” the artist says. “Over the years, I’ve scribbled on them, drawn on them, painted on them. They have layers of the history of my art process – sometimes hidden, sometimes visible – you need to get closer to see it.”

For Gandhy, it explores the idea of vulnerability and protection. “She marches with honours, holds her head high and looks you in the eye. In a time when women are gaining heroic position, the video just exemplifies it.”