Recent Works, a group show of six young contemporary artists, comprises of works in sculpture, photography, video installations, pastels, and drawings. Amongst the artists , three of them Shreyas, Hemali, and Sandip hail from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda. While Leon has completed his Masters in painting form the Hyderabad Central University, Bhuvanesh has finished his from Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi and holds a Masters in arts from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.
Shreyas Karle, presents in the show a series of line drawings which through their sense of inane comic wit, cock a snook at the 'object' of art. With a seriousness that belies the message he concentrates on the olfactory organ to deliver a series of tongue in cheek instructions on how one ought to dig his or her nose in all forms and sizes in the most unlikely places.
Hemali Bhuta is presently in the last leg of her Masters program at the fine arts faculty in Baroda. This show besides presenting a series of her photographs, also showcases a very interesting video installations about a lower middle class housing society in Goregaon, Mumbai. The video uses the 'money plant', a popular plant which can be seen in the houses of many middle and lower middle class families to bring to the fore the hopes, desires and aspirations that mark the lives of this particular strata of society. Since this particular housing society had predominantly Hindu families, the video also provides a discursive space linked to questions of identity via the different myths and beliefs that constitute the workings of a class and religion oriented existence.
Sandip Pisalkar too has completed his Masters in sculpture from Baroda. To understand the dynamics which construe his works, one must re-look at some of the objects which have become synonymous with history. Take for instance the canon. As an Indian at least, canons are reminiscent of the battles that have shaped the Indian history. And yet, Sandip takes the old rusty canon out of his historical context and places it in the realm of art objects. He does the same with the 'charkha' as well. The spindle wheel synonymous with the image of Gandhi, reminiscent of the nationalist struggle, which had at one point even graced the Indian national flag, is now presented with a strand of single electric blue neon thread in place of the humble white ones that were spun from its wheel. Thus, the works have a definite time-space connotation, delineating the contemporary as well as the implied past, visible through set symbols that have been constructed in the process of ongoing historical time.
Bhuvanesh Gowda's sculpture uses the human torso which has been the most consistent form for expression by artists across diverse cultures. However, he deliberately leans away from the overtly sensual aspect of the physical body to concentrate solely on the stark encounters which will bring forth the hidden realities through situational conditions. He does this by placing the headless female torso on a high stool as a self-conscious project to establish the gravity of the legitimate existence. The sculpture is worked on with minimal surfacial work to keep intact the sensation of rough hewn wood. Bhuvanesh's depiction of sensuality here is subtle and understated. The torso adorned with a 'tabeez' works to reinforce the notions of a belief in the unexplained and the mystical.
Leon hails from a background which is an interesting mix of a training in science and a later shift towards the arts. He presents a series of soft pastels which are a post-impressionist like in the technique, the colours bright yet controlled. In a series of drawings that depict different vegetations almost like botanical studies, he subjects the form to an intense scrutiny. He then proceeds to delineate them measure for measure, will a peculiar attention to detail, perhaps owning to his formal training in botany. The emotion that these drawing evoke is one of a peculiar serendipity. The drawings themselves are imbued with a sense of pregnant hope, one that works with the idea of inner growth and desire which could culminate in a more nuanced understanding of the self. It would be easy to believe his work is quite free form sentimentality, and yet the merger of form and content is quite literal.
Bapist Cohelo presents a series of digital prints which bring home the emphatic value of human expressions and emotions. Bapist, who recently finished his masters program in Birmingham after completing a certificate course in photography from the Raheja School, posits himself as the subject in one of the series that explores the sensual aspect of the male form. It is easy to fall prey to stereotyped sexual connotations while using a naked form, however, Bapist uses the lens with the dexterity to steer away from any such overtly implied proclivities to arrive at a subject who, while never confrontational, nevertheless unsettlingly pulls the viewer into a very private world.