Sunday, 2 March 2014


When providence brings together a group of enthusiastic like-minded artists from all over the world through a social media platform, few would doubt its successful outcome. The Drawing Box is one such venture which restores hope for artistic pursuits in a recession hit art scenario, reviews Sushma Sabnis.
(PARA at working in drawings box)
Drawing has forever been the basic tool of artistic expression, and one would seldom achieve any kind of proficiency in art unless the drawing was strong. Time immemorial has seen masters and apprentices generate hundreds of drawings constantly perfecting their practice, sketching ideas as documentation or even archival purposes. The Drawing Box is a venture created with the sole purpose of breaking barriers as far as drawing is concerned and being able to bring globally diverse practices of drawing under one canopy for a particular duration of time. The Drawing Box was established by Diane Henshaw from the north of Ireland in 2012 along with Andrew Crane and John Crabtree from the UK and Rajendra Patil (PARA) of India.

(Sheetal Gattani at working in drawings box)

The Drawing Box acts as an open discussion group of specific artists in pursuit of contemporary drawing practices. The group discusses drawing practices of different artists to enable an interactive and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and processes. For most people drawing is a meditative act. The act of taking a line for a walk across the planar dimensions of a canvas or paper seems daunting at first but when the hand touches the paper, the process seems like a journey, a pilgrimage one would take to get to the point of salvation. When one uses the word drawing, one understands the noun and verb meanings of the word. While one denotes an action of doing ‘drawing’ in a specific duration of time, implying movement in the present, the other is a stationary or static usage, as a completed ‘drawing’, a finished process which is proof of the act and doing of it. The group and its four founders gathered again in India for the second edition of The Drawing Box camp, which was held at the Kamath Resort in Nagothane, Mumbai-Goa Road, from 24th to 30th November 2013. The camp sponsored by ICAC (International Creative Art Center) saw the participation of over 65 artists from India and all over the world, and the number of works per artist varied from 3 to 5 paper works. The dimension was limited to A5 sized paper works and the medium of expression was entirely the artists’ call as per their requirement and practice. How an artist approaches the paper, A5 sized in this case, varies with the background of art education and practice the artist has employed regularly. Hence a painter, addresses the substrate / medium far differently than a print maker or a sculptor. The digital artist Satadru Sovan preferred to draw from the digital medium on to the paper, which made the work more precise and vibrant. Abstract painter Sheetal Ghattani created textural nuances within the geometrical drawings intended to give depth in a two dimensional medium.

(Artist Yashwant Deshmukh)

Artists Yashwant Deshmukh, Rajendra Patil, Chayan Roy bring down the expression into a minimalistic rendition of abstraction, while renowned figurative artists like Jai Zarotia, Vidyasagar Upadhyay, Deepak Shinde, Madhukar Munde displayed an array of intricate drawings, vibrant works inspired by various natural or existential stimuli. Printmaker Vishakha Apte’s work dwelt upon the unseen passing of time and its silent marks on inanimate objects. She abstracted these man made forms on to the paper in mellow and subdued fluid hues. Sanjeev Sonpimpare’s works appear to be life studies akin to doodles done spontaneously on back of postage stamps. The styles of drawing varied drastically from meticulously planned line drawings to minimalistic line drawings to drawing reminiscent of cave art and tribal art, to spontaneous doodles and water colours. While artist Satish Wavare created drawings with nuances of making marks on the paper with ink, lines, blots and curves, supported by the artist’s inner world representations, the work of Kshitish Das appeared playful and weaving a narrative with a subtle polemic about today’s environment and urbanization. Work of artist Purva Pandit was a mixed media on canvas using buttons. The Drawing Box, saw the participation of several international artists from Japan, Ireland Belfast and UK.

Please  view Full Content in Art and Deal Magazine- Delhi (Report courtesy Art and Deal - Delhi)

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Thanks for comment JK