Over the last three weeks, five artists, who have taken refuge at the Piramal Art Residency, a recently opened 30-acre space nestled in Thane, have been busy giving shape to their body of work, exploring the concept of binary. Hailing from different parts of the country, the artists-in-residence — Anni Kumari (Delhi), Gagan Mandal (Odisha), Anupam Saikia (Assam), Sachin Tekade (Maharashtra) and Anupama Alias (Kerala) — have created works using different mediums and methods.
Incidentally, the residency space included a pharmaceutical factory that was bull-dozed in the first week after artists came in to stay. This, too, had an impact on them and made way into many of the works. “Every aspect of our existence has binary inherent in its meaning. The artists have tried to explore it in their own context as well as in reference to the residency space. For instance, Anupam pulled out a wooden cupboard from the dumps and is painting over it, creating a binary between waste and useful. Gagan has found the whole space of the projected residential project to be an attraction and Sachin has explored the rich vegetation in the area,” informs Ashvin Rajagopalan, director, Pir-amal Art Foundation.
If you are an art enthusiast keen to check out these works or engage with the artists, head to the residency’s Open Studio Day, today. Accompanied by textual interventions by Snehal Tambulwadikar (the current critic-in-residence), the works will stay on display for a week before some of them make way to the Piramal Museum Collection.
On: Today, 4 pm to 7 pm
At: Piramal Vaikunth, Bayer India Road, Ram Maruti Nagar, Balkum, Thane.
When Gagan Mandal arrived at the residency, he was taken in by the visual of a broken sandstone replica of the wheel from the Konark sun temple in Odisha (his hometown), recreated for display in the contemporary space. With his expertise in realistic depiction and water colour, Mandal has created a blend of science fiction and mythology in his work, Birth And Death, showcasing elements like the broken Konark wheel, the ruins of the industry and fallen trees within a circular tyre shape. The work depicts the binary of growth and decay.
Hailing from a small village in Assam, Anupam Saikia’s work on the idea of construction and destruction features a discarded wooden cupboard, re-painted with landscape. He has also cut out a window in the cupboard to give the viewer a peep of the scenery outside.
Pune-based artist, Sachin Tekade found a log of wood eaten into by insects.
He worked on it with small squares of papers joint together to create a rhythmic sculpture called Aadhar. It depicts a contrast between the colours, and the delicacy of paper juxtaposed with rough wood.
Visiting artist Prabhakar Pachpute (centre) with artists Anupama Alias (right) and Rupali Patil
Anupama Alias has used the concept of the dominant and submissive to create small, water-coloured self portraits covered with rice paper. Taking off from the Christian myth that women were born from the rib of Adam (man), she questions the source of origin of the female form which is dependent on the male. Ribs make a statement in her work as do materials like layers of cotton, colour, thorns, feathers and hair.
Inspired by the soot-covered city of her childhood, Jamshedpur, Delhi-based Anni Kumari’s work, titled Eye Fountain, explores the idea of dark and light. The artist began by exploring and documenting the residency space, trees and the structures around. Her work consists of three circular canvases, tracing the geographical readings at the space. The dots in the paintings represent the concept of infinity in black and white colours. She has also sketched the ruins of the factory in translucent sheets of paper.