Now that's iconic

Updated: Jul 23, 2019, 13:10 IST | Dalreen Ramos

A workshop-cum-heritage walk will introduce participants to Indian iconography with a non-descriptive approach

Now that's iconic
A sculpture of Buddha in Mathura; one from the same location in the Kushana period

You can't ask common people to meditate in a vacuum or on an abstract idea," Sneha Nagarkar says, explaining why we need icons. In simple terms, iconography refers to the use of images and symbols to represent ideas but to the common person, it goes beyond theory and requires a leap of faith. At a workshop-cum-heritage walk on Sunday, Nagarkar an archaeologist and Indologist who helms Pancajanya Cultural Heritage Initiatives will offer participants an introduction to Indian iconography, while specifically delving into Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

"Nowadays, iconography has gone for a toss. You cannot have a Ganpati idol dressed as Buddha. I'm not against the freedom of expression but it just doesn't make sense," Nagarkar says. The event will also highlight cultural and temporal differences.

Sneha Nagarkar
Sneha Nagarkar

"The image of Vishnu in the 1 CE will obviously differ from that made in the 5th century. Similarly, this image in Mathura will not be the same as the one found in Kanchipuram," she adds, proceeding to elaborate on how context is crucial in archaeology. But the workshop will not just end at theoretical foundations.

The same participants will be heading to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) to observe what they learn at its Sculpture Gallery. As Nagarkar concludes, "In the Mughal miniature paintings, you can see that the Pandavas resemble Rajput warriors in the Kurukshetra War. So, the idea is to give a practical feel to it."

On July 28, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
At Room no 104, first floor, ML Dahanukar College, Vile Parle East (workshop); Sculpture Gallery, ground floor, CSMVS, Fort (heritage walk).
Call 9920679409
Cost Rs 500

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