Friday, 30 November 2012

Subodh Kerkar: ‘Pepper Cross’ Berlin Germany 2012-2013 As reviewed by Pankaja JK.


Vast sky, Stretched water…

Making the canvas of my vision brighter and broader




 Copyright ©Prasad Pankar Photographer
Subodh Kerkar’s ‘Pepper Cross’ exhibition at Berlin was a perfect representative of historical reference to amalgamation of cultures and he traces the very roots of its cause- The life giver and speechless communicator- ‘Water’- stretched Seas and vast Oceans which were and will always be instrumental in changing the face of world. . He visualizes the ingression of alien culture into a particular land and how the people get influenced by it. For him ‘Goa’ an Indian state stands as the best example to support his observation. As Subodh Kerkar hails from Goa; the land of beaches he is always fascinated by its vastness, and may be the character to embrace the non-ending horizon. He rightly points out that civilizations nurtured and developed along the coast and long stretching oceans were basically responsible for spreading culture, exchange of knowledge. He has amplified the concept by concentrating on culture brought in Goa by Portuguese and with their stay here for almost four decades made such a deep impact that the whole culture of Goa changed and today it is known by the identity developed due to Portuguese influence. Goa was one of the typical Indian states before the advent of Portuguese adopted the Western influence and religion (i.e. Christianity) and today it is famous for its westernized character. And when I state Goa having ‘Western character’ it includes even the culinary ingredients which is the topic of interest of ‘Pepper Cross’; new ingredients added to food items, revolutionized Goan kitchens and food habits.  Chilies, tomatoes, potatoes, pineapples, cashew and many other fruits and vegetables were brought into the country. The techniques of baking bread and distilling spirits were introduced. A variety of mangoes were grafted.  Umpteen other culinary novelties were introduced.




Portuguese came to India for taking over the pepper trade from the Arabs and spreading the Christian faith. They were successful in their mission and steadily they colonized Goa and stayed here for more than four decades. Today more than half of the population follows Christianity and the culture they brought in. To symbolize their rowing in basically for trade intentions and spread of Christian religion and apparently the new culinary methods introduced in Goa is all beautifully presented in sculpture ‘Pepper Cross’ using the one hundred years old hull of a fishing boat and a pair of oars to make a Cross pepper itching on it. There are also chilly and bread sculptures which are now a part of regular diet in Goa and all over India.  Though ‘bread’ was rejected as apart of main course by earlier Hindu community because according to them it was not a fresh preparation and made with fermentation process; but the same bread has become important part of even morning breakfast for almost all the people of all religions, apart from Christians. This deliberates on the fact that India has a natural tendency to adopt and covet different religions and cultures that came in India through cross-border connections either forcibly (like European who colonized India) or through trade intentions.



He also gallops down the memory lane by creating an installation of horseshoe patterns on the shores of Goapattanam using shells collected from the same beach. The beach was a major port in carrying out the horse trade between India and Arabia. Later this port was silted but relics of its dock still remind the past and Subodh’s photograph of that installation refreshes the history. His site-based artistic output is a rock smeared with ‘Indigo’. Indigo was all time favorite pigment and this is extracted from a plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. India grew indigo ever since the Indus Valley civilization, 2000 BC and was the main commodity of export. Subodh states that it was an important part of the cargo on the Caravellas, sailing to the west through the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. So again he highlights importance of ocean in trade and Indigo color as important commodity of trade. The sculpture of ‘cotton-pod’ projects the creative handicraft technique of knitting tablecloths, bedspreads, etc. with thin threads of cotton was introduced to India by the Portuguese.




To sum up, ‘Pepper cross’ highlights the cross-pollination of cultures and subtle ties between various cultures of world and India and Subodh’s photographs, sculptures and installations draw attention to it. It is a unique style of work where instead of traditional method of capturing landscape and seascape on canvas, he uses sea and its surrounding as the base for his imagination and creation. The things with which we are familiar make us contemplate about their very existence in our lives and the exhibits play a role of visual history at large.   Vast sky, Stretched water…


Making the canvas of my vision brighter and broader…Subodh Kerkar’s ‘Pepper Cross’ exhibition at Berlin was a perfect representative of historical reference to amalgamation of cultures and he traces the very roots of its cause- The life giver and speechless communicator- ‘Water’- stretched Seas and vast Oceans which were and will always be instrumental in changing the face of world. . He visualizes the ingression of alien culture into a particular land and how the people get influenced by it. For him ‘Goa’ an Indian state stands as the best example to support his observation. As Subodh Kerkar hails from Goa; the land of beaches he is always fascinated by its vastness, and may be the character to embrace the non-ending horizon. He rightly points out that civilizations nurtured and developed along the coast and long stretching oceans were basically responsible for spreading culture, exchange of knowledge. He has amplified the concept by concentrating on culture brought in Goa by Portuguese and with their stay here for almost four decades made such a deep impact that the whole culture of Goa changed and today it is known by the identity developed due to Portuguese influence. Goa was one of the typical Indian states before the advent of Portuguese adopted the Western influence and religion (i.e. Christianity) and today it is famous for its westernized character. And when I state Goa having ‘Western character’ it includes even the culinary ingredients which is the topic of interest of ‘Pepper Cross’; new ingredients added to food items, revolutionized Goan kitchens and food habits.  Chilies, tomatoes, potatoes, pineapples, cashew and many other fruits and vegetables were brought into the country. The techniques of baking bread and distilling spirits were introduced. A variety of mangoes were grafted.  Umpteen other culinary novelties were introduced.

Portuguese came to India for taking over the pepper trade from the Arabs and spreading the Christian faith. They were successful in their mission and steadily they colonized Goa and stayed here for more than four decades. Today more than half of the population follows Christianity and the culture they brought in. To symbolize their rowing in basically for trade intentions and spread of Christian religion and apparently the new culinary methods introduced in Goa is all beautifully presented in sculpture ‘Pepper Cross’ using the one hundred years old hull of a fishing boat and a pair of oars to make a Cross pepper itching on it. There are also chilly and bread sculptures which are now a part of regular diet in Goa and all over India.  Though ‘bread’ was rejected as apart of main course by earlier Hindu community because according to them it was not a fresh preparation and made with fermentation process; but the same bread has become important part of even morning breakfast for almost all the people of all religions, apart from Christians. This deliberates on the fact that India has a natural tendency to adopt and covet different religions and cultures that came in India through cross-border connections either forcibly (like European who colonized India) or through trade intentions.


He also gallops down the memory lane by creating an installation of horseshoe patterns on the shores of Goapattanam using shells collected from the same beach. The beach was a major port in carrying out the horse trade between India and Arabia. Later this port was silted but relics of its dock still remind the past and Subodh’s photograph of that installation refreshes the history. His site-based artistic output is a rock smeared with ‘Indigo’. Indigo was all time favorite pigment and this is extracted from a plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. India grew indigo ever since the Indus Valley civilization, 2000 BC and was the main commodity of export. Subodh states that it was an important part of the cargo on the Caravellas, sailing to the west through the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. So again he highlights importance of ocean in trade and Indigo color as important commodity of trade. The sculpture of ‘cotton-pod’ projects the creative handicraft technique of knitting tablecloths, bedspreads, etc. with thin threads of cotton was introduced to India by the Portuguese.To sum up, ‘Pepper cross’ highlights the cross-pollination of culture



(Subodh Kerkar working at studio- Goa- India)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Papper Cross going Berlin by Subodh Kerker : Pankaja JK review coming soon


Monday, 26 November 2012

Archana Mishra : Print



We naturally associate with varied expressions of nature and likewise nature also assimilates us in its varied forms in such a way that we cannot hold back ourselves from experiencing it. I always project these expressions in my creations and to paint it in identified and unidentified images according to their characteristics is my all time furor and contemplating and painting this vastness in a unique manner thrills me. So by painting my turbulent emotions and calming my inconstancy of mind on plain canvas, I also aim to liberate myself. To portray my very own talismanic world and to live in its celestial impact, bestow me a new persona and that is the sole reason why I am forever ready to integrate this whole world in its charisma... Archana Mishra



Copyright © Archana Mishra





(Copyright © Archana Mishra)

                                                            


“My sculptures are the first hand experiences of vast social environs…”

Parag Tandel on his sculptures and installations.
   
Parag Tandel is a thoughtful and concerned artist who is involved in many nature and social awareness programs. His work is not only an expression of first hand experience of the society from where he hails (he belongs to fishermen folk from Thane, near Mumbai) but also his everyday travel experiences. His site-based works also deal with serious issues of destruction and apartheid behavior against the victims of nature and poverty. In one of the installation he also highlights on innocent beliefs of people which can also be termed as blind belief by intellectuals. But whatever it is, it the faith of people that he highlights. I spoke to him on almost ten of his sculptures and installation and he justified every work with relevant reason. I wish to give the account in his own words that magnify his say. 

JK: Tell us about your sculpture and installations.
P. T: I established my self as an artist in 2005  and since then involved myself in various visual art expressions. Since beginning I am interested in sculpture and installations based on meticulous observation and research. My sculptures and site specific installations are the social dialogues and globally concerned topics. I aim to bring to notice public ignorance towards society and nature and its severe effects on every living being on the earth be it flora, fauna or human beings. For me “Concept is common but creating it in my own language of image is very important ". As I grew up and was drawn in complexity of society and its environs; I became mentally and physically mature and realized the gradual but obvious changes in me. I found the Art as the only way to express my concern and passion. I became instinctive and understood that art is not just for expression of beauty but for the social cause too; developing concern and awareness for environment around us and started experimenting in various mediums. I was also lucky to be successful in actually presenting my imagination into reality and making use of commonly found, low or no cost materials like, wood, rubber, clay which are many a times discarded materials or objects in junk yard, since I believe in showcasing my concept in minimum cost and simplicity.  

My sculptures are the first hand experiences that I have while at home, with family and friends or even out there in vast surroundings of my social environs. These all give an artistic expression to my creations. My confidence in my imagination initially resulted in two exhibitions called Pregnant Room 1’ and ‘Pregnant Room -2’ respectively. In pregnant room – 1 I have dealt with the experience of walking and excessive walking that leads to blister on feet. I have applied reverse theory on floor that, because of constant walking on it, it gets blisters on its surface. I have specifically kept in mind the busiest platform of CST railway platform, which had worn out and is now modified. I applied the human character of developing blisters due to constant walking for long hours to this inanimate platform which has been used by commuters and goods carriers on railway platforms since very long time. In this Wood, Rubber, FRP combines to create sculpture laid on the floor. Through this air bubbled rubber sheet that lay on the floor, I wanted the visitors to experience the touch of sensitive and frail blisters and so let them walk by stamping on these protrudes. But even the thought of it being skin and blisters prevented some of them from walking on it. I think this was the real success of my creation to produce the desired effect in minds of observers.

People have reviewed these sculptures as familiar and enigmatic which are also simple and complex at the same time. I am happy with there feedback as many a times they are true to my intention of creations. There is a step beyond self-expression, a social consciousness as generally I suppose Art can instill a sense of connectivity to our environment. Sculpture can interconnect the realms of art, science, nature and humanity.
(Recent work Parag Tandel)

In Pregnant Room 2: III Sculptural Installation, I experimented with Rice flour bread (rotis) incased in
resin, thread and straw mat and created a wall sculpture which is nostalgia of my mother preparing
these rice flour breads and selling it to earn money for family. Though we had a family profession of fishing, due to worst conditions in this field, my mother and other our folk women were compelled to leave this profession and adopt the very different way of earning means. . It was strange that a (bread) roti was sold to earn daily (bread) roti. 

Pregnant Room 2 continues as a part of In Pregnant Room 2: III Sculptural Installation, I introduced injections & hairclips with wheat flour (rotis) incased in resin, which symbolically signifies the modern method of Botox injection to increase beauty and hide the growing age and real bread which is actually helpful in being healthy and strong. But modern day elites prefer Botox instead of natural food. In pregnant room-2 V Moths around tube light which I daily experienced in my studio which is besides mangrove forest, whole year moths hover in my studio this was just an experience but I used materials which were at hand and around my daily life to share this experience. Pregnant Room 1: V is a Stoneware sculpture presenting violent city and its grueling pressures, and the fragile medium (stoneware) creates sound in it.

The instinct to present social and environmental issues triggered and became the aim of my Artistic
mission when I was personally affected by the toxics and had Tuberculosis in 2009, as I regularlyworked using harmful chemical in my studio and breathed it in and out almost everyday. I was given
the injections to strengthen my lungs and I had to go through lot of pain to recover. Feeling I have experienced when I was told to do a CT Scan. They gave me injections for contrast and if you can’t digest that contrast you get vomits, I really felt violent that time as if something is attacking on my body and
body is fighting internally in violent way to recover from external attack. At that time I realized the cruelty that we inflict on our environment and something must be done to stop or at least reduce it. So I started working on realistic concept. Pregnant room-2 II is where I have presented worn and torn foam sheet to present Lungs and how it looked after being under toxic attacks (may be by as a professional in field related to harmful chemicals or using toxic colors or it can simply be due to consuming
tobacco or chain smoking) is an installation based on this fearful personal experience.

While I have designed and installed public art projects, it is my most recent environmental designs that I wish to talk about to give an idea of how I would approach future projects from an artistic and rational

point of view. In ‘Big Catch’, I have employed background of fishing community and my family business.I have worked using the garbage or junk items that loiter in the junk yards or are randomly found on streets and in neighbor hood. In pregnant room - 2 -I I used Silicon rubber and discarded, worn out nylon fishing net. This fishing net seems to be allergic to the pollution of toxics poured in the by humans in sea. The blistered texture for the catch from the sea is developed using bubble rubber sheet and amoeba shape hanging on the wall hooked in a nail.

In 2007 as a public art project for Kalaghoda festival sponsored by Pundole art gallery, Mumbai, I had
installed ‘Unbranded guards branded’ that highlights an orthodox belief of Indians (especially followers
of Hinduism) that shows green chilies and lemon sewed in a thread and hanged at the entrance of the
house or commercial premises to ward off evil. It has always fascinated me that a security can come so cheap and considered powerful without any arms and ammunition for safety. And interestingly, every kind of person either illiterate or qualified, use this abstract, unpatented method of security and protection. In 2009 I was invited for a site specific workshop ‘Sandarbh’ in Paratpur, Rajasthan,India. Here houses were ruined due to heavy rainfall. One of the houses was in debris as the family hadleft it during the calamity. Though Government was responsible to rehabilitate them and give aid for reconstruction of house, no one and for that matter not even the local municipal office took heed of it. This was an injustice and sad state which inspired me to use this site as an eye opener towards the lethargic and careless attitude, so, as a project called “Completion of Incomplete” I cleaned the whole tenement house and rearranged everything around the house, applied cow dung and soil to makes wall better and stand and make it visible to viewers and bring to notice and make them ponder whose fault was it exactly? Natural or man imposed? Basically I like to handle the social issues and problems which do not have any specific individual creator but society and nature as whole. I also share this with thoughtful minds as I conduct workshops and brain-storming sessions to create awareness towards our environment and society that we live in.

My site specific works are closely knit to survival instincts. ‘Big Catch’ for Kalaghoda festival, Mumbai,
sponsored by Pundole art gallery in 2012 is a public art project. It is an installation based on my daily
experience of travel to my studio which is at Vitawa Thane), a starting point of fishing area. Since a few
years, as the fishermen row to find the fish in deep waters they catch more than just a fish and it is all
but garbage dumped in sea like, thermocol, plastic bags and bottles, electrical equipments, foot wear and all the waste polluting and destroying the eco-system of this area.The garbage is so prominently tucked in net that it seems to be a new species of fish. This garbage itself is the medium I have worked with.  I installed a big fish made out of worn out fishing net and all the garbage dumped in it, here I wished to present an unusual and sarcastically newly identified species of fish; dangerous fish, rather
than known ones.

Q: How would you like to enhance your work?
P.T: I would like to advent into varied communities and cultures, know the positives and negatives around the globe and present them in my works sometimes simply for visual delight and mostly to develop concern and awareness.

PK: Wish you success in all your noble plans!

PT: Thank you.  

Swaying in sanctity of Mysticism. - R.B.Holle - by Pankaja JK


A mesmerizing work, meandering in the unknown zone of Universe and creating the aura of mysticism is the apt introduction of R.B. Holle’s creation. His interest in tracing the secrets of nature was developed right from childhood as he is a sensitive person. His Art has developed over the years and within ten years he is so famed as a talented painter that, even the New York based Pollock Krasner Foundation has acknowledged his art and offered him a Jackson Pollock Scholarship.

(R.B.Holle''untitled''Acylic on Canvas,69''x180'',2010.)
In this series Holle develops galaxy, the whole Universe in a small frame by rhythmic presentation of granular forms in acrylic on canvas and even in installations by using toothpicks. The forms also seem to have movement, swift movements as it happens in Milky Way. The balance of forms in circular motions with dark hues consisting of lighter tinges creates a vibrant equilibrium; a complete cosmos and packed energy of life. Also, being an aesthetic, Holle has a theosophical touch due to strong belief in aesthetics and existence of God or mysticism.  Those images have romantic rural environs of Kasari, his native place. It breaths freshness, purity and virginity. The paintings offer unfathomable, vast and clandestine world in the midst of realistic hustle- bustle of metropolitan city, Mumbai where he presently lives and works.
(R.B.Holle,''untitled''Acyalic on canvas,51''x51'',2010.)
To cater his future dreams, this youngster wanted to settle in wonderland of Mumbai. But who would support him? Initially he struggled and visited various Art Galleries, showed his paintings to almost all the famed artists like Dilip Ranade, Laxman Shrestha and Gaitonde. A few of them gave suggestions on improvements in his paintings, some suggested changes in color combination and a few advised him on the form of painting. Holle’s painting started modifying with the aid of these suggestions. So, he acknowledges his attainment of this vision of Art to experienced and supportive seniors and fellow artists. Steadily, the real essence of Abstract dawned on him that, an abstract painting is but a concentrated concept, expressed with complete liberty. It is the image through which observer has to explore and contemplate the core of concept and advent into unknown aspect of known possessions. Stars in galaxy, colliding celestial objects, illuminating planets, this colorful and shinning form of the Milky Way and its deeply rooted secrets seem to in the paintings.Holle is greatly inspired by the philosophies of Saint Tukaram and Lao Tzu. He also highly regards Gaitonde for his Art and considers him as his teacher. For him, at this stage of his progress as an artists, his own paintings are not just formless colour play; but a mirror image of unbiased and purest state of mind.  

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Satish Wavare latest interview -Pankaja JK



Art has come a long way from being just a matter of passion and entered a commercial avenue with global exposure. United Art Fair includes established and upcoming talents who paint, sculpt and create installations. There are nearly more than 350 artists selected from all over the world to showcase their work.
Annurag Sharma, Director of UAF is successful in providing opportunity to discover the value and diversity of art. Annurag Sharma promotes a wonderful interaction between artists and patrons providing superb experience to both, the art-lover and creator.

Johny M. L. one of the rebel fighters for art right, also a curator in this Art Fair has chosen exclusive works by various artists. In this article, I, (Pankaja JK), have abstracted work of four outstanding visual artist from Mumbai, viz: Satish Wavare  compete painter still on high note in Mumbai art, who work in different mediums other than in typical traditional style of using colors on canvas. It always interests me to watch work in group show rather than individual shows, so even this Fair is going to be a fascinating one. I had the opportunity to visit Satish Wavare artist in their studios and see the process of their creation and how the final outcome takes place through their creative process. Following paragraphs are addressed to their works with illumination on them in their own words.

Satish Wavare
United : size 10x19 Mix media on wooden comb
I had a short conversation with Satish Wavare, an artist who balances his act as a passionate painter who is clear about take on his individual art.  He is a graduate in drawing and painting from Sir, J. J. School of Art, Mumbai and specialized in portrait painting during his academic years. His evolutions in painting lead him towards choosing abstract over portrait painting and choosing a medium of wood carved combs. Unusual and unheard! But, he is successful in his work and has been a part of many shows and exhibitions all over India and even abroad. He works in Mumbai. Following excerpt is my inquisitive probe into his chosen medium for painting:
Q: Why did you choose wooden comb as your base for painting?

 S.W.: I was always fascinated by the shape of comb and it was usual found in our house right from childhood. My father was a priest and very often as the ritual a few things that a married woman should posses and obligated to wear is offered to Goddess. One of the things that were offered to Goddess by my father was this mini sized wooden comb. I liked it very much. In later stages of my development as an artist I decided to paint on small and medium sized wooden combs and it was bliss to find the effect very attractive and then I continued using it as a medium. The small even spaces in it and broad strip to hold it works as a texture and there is a kind of movement one can feel while observing the painting on it.  Now I am so obsessed with it that I personally feel that my painting process is complete only when I become one with form, color, line, wood, paper, water, oil, pencil, ink. 
Q: You always mount your creation on black background, any particular reason behind it?
S.W.:  ‘Black’ is my favorite color; it is vibrant and very vigorous. There is no particular reason but I feel black background gives a finishing touch to my paintings. 
Q: Does your profession have impact on your passion? 
S.W: I am very close to nature and natural environment had always been and will always remain my inspiration. The stretched ocean water, the waves currents, bio –treasure, shells and conches all become my visuals, which gets refined into abstract forms and ultimately become my painting. It is a gradual process of creation. The varied colors at sea becomes a challenge, because it is quiet tricky to make colors that match exactly with that found in nature. I also meet people with varied characters they also add essence to my creation.
Q: Do you plan to experiment with different materials like fiber, plastic combs etc. 
S.W: There is no plan to change the material of comb in near future. Working on wooden comb has become my identity and I am in no hurry to wipe out my identity. According to me exercising experimentation in same medium, helps an artist to add more depth to that kind of work and he achieves more maturity in it. 
Q: So, how would you explain your relation with art?
S.W.: When I paint, my painting is personified, I have dialogue with it.  There is a depth in our bonding and the imprints that my paintings leave on my being is my vehicle for the journey from the known to the unknown. There is a give and take kind of relation, where I try to give it a face though abstracted form, in exchange it gives me immense pleasure, satisfaction and makes me peaceful.
Q: What about trend of adopting new technology or raising installations? Don’t you feel like changing your medium?
S. W: I do not believe in aping. Just because everyone is adopting installation, I would not do the same, nor would I adopt different medium to make an impression of being modern progressive artists. I would do these things only when they would really appeal to my artistic senses. For example, I would only involve in installation art, if something around me stimulates me to do so and if I find that the installation speaks more of its relation to world around and not just stand as a structure without conception. 
JK: So that explains your spiritual approach towards art.
S.W.: Yes and that lies in the core of my creativity, total devotion and dedication to art; very important for me and my