Experiments with bapu and blackboard

Sep 04, 2011, 05:05 IST | Yoshita Sengupta

Well-known city-based painter Atul Dodiya is back with a solo show about a child's interaction with Gandhi. All of this conveyed through 12 blackboard paintings and a cabinet installation

Well-known city-based painter Atul Dodiya is back with a solo show about a child's interaction with Gandhi. All of this conveyed through 12 blackboard paintings and a cabinet installation

While artist Atul Dodiya has used Gandhi as a theme in his paintings before, this time he has used a different image of Gandhi in a unique art form to create what he calls a deeply personal work. In 1999, Dodiya had done an entire show on Gandhi titled 'An Artist Of Non-Violence'.

Atul Dodiya's Bako Exists. Imagine will be exhibited September 10 onwards

What is the exhibition about?
The exhibition is a text-based work. It comprises 12 paintings in the form of blackboards with text written on them. There is also a cabinet filled with photographs and other personal references. I chanced upon a Gujarati book by well-known author Labhshanker Thaker many years ago. Here, a boy, Bako, has a conversation with Gandhi in his dreams. The Gandhi referred to is not the regular Gandhi everyone associates with. There is no mention of the freedom struggle or non-violence. But one gets the impression of an informal Gandhi who speaks almost like a grandfather to the child.

How long did this work take you to complete?
I have been thinking about adapting this book into a painting for the last five years. It's only in the last year that I got thoroughly involved it. Throughout those five years I knew I would adapt but did not know how. Each of the elements that one can now see in the work happened slowly, in trickles.

Does the painting have personal references?
Yes, it's autobiographical in many ways. The child referred to here is in the age category of 10 to 12 years. At that age I was just discovering that I could draw fairly well and wanted to become an artist. Also, growing up as a child in a suburb in Mumbai, I was fascinated with many artists, filmmakers and people like Rabindranath Tagore. Some of this is represented subtly in the work and some as images on the cabinet.

How do you think people will connect with this work?
I think anyone from a young child to an old person can connect with this work. For older people, in fact, it will almost be a form of nostalgia what with the blackboard and the scribbles on it. However, it moves beyond that. Through this work, autobiographical references will gradually mingle into a larger creative journey. The intention being that the viewer no more remains an outsider but subconsciously becomes an invisible character involved along with Bako and Bapu in this hilarious fantasy.
At:  Sep 10 till Oct 20, Chemould Prescott Road, Queens Mansion, 3rd Floor, G Talwatkar Marg, Fort
Call: 22000211

To do
Want to recite poetry?
Maxreach Resources is an HR outfit that conducts Maxmeet Social, a platform where people can meet, interact and perform. This Tuesday is Poetry Tuesday, where on the first Tuesday of every month, people meet over recitations of original poetry.
At: 5.30 pm, Sep 6, United 21, LBS Marg, Gokul Nagar, Thane (W)
Call: 8108260458

Beethoven, who?
On September 6, NCPA is organising a lecture on Beethoven and his impact on musical thought and language. The talk will try to place the composer's works in the time he came from. Go on a journey of revelation through processes that will bring Beethoven's music to life, including a topical survey of his 9 symphonies.
At: 7pm, September 6, Godrej Dance Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point 
Call: 66223737

Art for heart's sake
Today is the last day of the Autumn Art Show 2011. The artists on exhibition have used different media including acrylic, charcoal and oil. A part of the sale's proceeds will go to designated charities. In order to encourage underprivileged artists, the exhibition is also showcasing paintings by girls from the Rescue Home of Asha Sadan.
At: 11am to 7 pm, Artist's Centre, Kala Ghoda, Fort
Call: 22845939

Family matter
The Panchals of Ahmedabad, a family of three accomplished artists, a father and two sons, live, conceptualise and paint together in the same studio. The Panchals will now showcase three different themes varying from surrealistic and sublime depiction of expression to abstract contents like rock-scape and a series focused on the Chakras of life as described in our yogic scriptures, at the Nehru Centre. The senior most, the father, is Bharat Panchal. The sons are Dharmesh and Kalpit.
At: Sep 6 - 12, Nehru Centre, Motilal Sanghi Rd, Mahalakshmi
Call: 24963426

Limited edition Armani watches

Brandzstorm India Marketing has just introduced the 'Whatever It Takes collection' by legendary fashion designer Giorgio Armani. Each watch is of limited production and comes with Giorgio Armani's signature. The artwork is designed and signed by the famous designer himself. The collection features a range of rose gold, gold, and brushed steel faces, along with brown or black leather straps. Twenty five per cent of the sale proceeds will go towards the 'Whatever it Takes Charity Foundation'.
At: all leading multi brand watch stores, malls and fashion stores

Fruit baskets
Eco Corner, the store that sells environment-friendly products, has come up
with a new collection of products for the home. Weaved from natural dyed palm leaves, these boxes, baskets, pouches and bins are all washable. They are so intricately woven that the work almost looks like embroidery. They can be used as fruit baskets, to store jewellery, in bathrooms to keep face towels, as a gift hamper, planters, and more.
At: Eco Corner, 3rd floor, The Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel
Call: 66223737

Festive pendants
To celebrate the festive occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, jewellery retailer Orra has come out with its spiritual collection of pendants called Swayambhoo-Nav-Omkar. These pendants are inspired by the sacred symbol 'Om' and studded with the 'Navratna' gems. The Navratna gemstones represent nine holy planets of the universe and benefit the wearer, regardless of the person's birth history. The collection comprises 6 pendants set in 22-karat gold and platinum. The pieces are adorned with precious stones like rubies, emeralds, pearls and pure Belgian diamonds, combined with other materials of traditional significance like rudraksha, tiger stone, coral, and the holy Navratnas.
At: Available at all Orra outlets

Go to top