For 14 years now, The Guild, a popular art gallery at Colaba, has showcased works by many talented artists and in the process they have also collected many works that kept getting added to their permanent collection. Shalini Sawhney, who started the gallery back in 1997, decided to showcase some of these brilliant works to the public and the result has been this exhibition, A Floating Object.
“This is just the first in the series,” says Sawhney telling us that she has plans to showcase some of the artworks from their permanent collection, every year. “When I looked at our collection from over the years, I felt it was a good idea to showcase them. It’s a commercial gallery transforming into a museum,” she adds.
Works by Gieve Patel, Gulammohammed Sheikh, KP Reji, Prajakta Potnis, Sudhir Patwardhan, Sumedh, Rajendran, Tushar Joag and Zakkir Hussain are on display at this exhibition. “It was difficult to chose the artworks that will be displayed,” admits Sawhney adding that even the process of acquiring these artworks has been a difficulty one. “Sometimes, we need to chase an artist, sometimes, we don’t have the necessary funds,” she says.
In addition to the artworks, the exhibition also displays an essay on the entire collection, which gives a detailed description of the works and how they relate to each other. “There is an underlying thread that connects the objects. When you set up a work, the objects set up different resonances; they have interesting dialogues with each other,” explains Sawhney. Most objects have a story behind them that are explained in detail through the essay.
Gieve Patel’s bronze sculpture is from the Eklavya/Daphne series and is based on Greco-Roman mythology and Indian mythology. Tushar Joag’s work mixes fantasy with reality and Sudhir Patwardhan’s Couple, oil on canvas from 1976, refers to the teeming yet constrictive nature of the people living in Mumbai. “The different works take you to different layers. Each of them has a story to tell,” says Sawhney.