2 Apr 2018

Art Mumbai: Written on Water curated by Sanjeev Sonpimpare

Written on Water is a human experience, celebrating warmth of acceptance and belonging, writes Shubhalakshmi Shukla

Curated by the Mumbai based artist Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Written on Water at Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, brings together a miscellaneous collection of artworks by artists from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kalabhavan Santiniketan, Baroda and Mumbai, with Alok Bal, Balaji Ponna, Binoy Varghese, Madhuri Kathe, Moutushi Chakraborty, Nilesh Shaharkar, Nitasha Jaini, Prasanta Sahu, Pratul Dash, Ritu Kamath, Ruchika W Singh, Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Sarika Mehta and Ushmita Sahu. 
Sanjeev Sonpimpare002, Industrial oil on canvas, 11.5'' x 23.5'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Industrial oil on canvas, 11.5'' x 23.5''
The artworks explore artists’ individualistic search and concerns. Within these, the show interweaves with the current state of human consciousness, and issues related to gender, caste, class and race disturbance, violence and unrest.

“We all long for certain positivity to be there in our lives, and we constantly work on it just to set things in a pleasant state. It is in a constant flux, outside and inside. Let’s not deny that we all are living in times that are dark in hue. This instability and impermanence that we negotiate in everyday life become a way to remind ourselves that this may be the only instance let for us to greet each other, and move further with our lives," explains Sonpimpare in his curatorial note. 
Nitasha Haini001, Acrylic on canvas, 38'' x 48'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Nitasha Jaini, Acrylic on canvas, 38'' x 48''
Some artists have chosen to view the inward turmoil, bringing to the surface the discreet narratives of the marginal, for instance, the Santiniketan based Prasanta Sahu. Others have chosen to detach the 'female body' from all the attributes of patriarchy, keeping the context of urban kitsch and beauty alive as in 'Aurat' by Kolakata based Moutushi Chkaraborty. While, Sanjeev Sonpimpare brings about an existential search for language, an unlayering of melancholy in the current times.
Madhuri Kathe002, Mixed Media on canvas, 60'' x 36'' Written on Water, Art Scene India
Madhuri Kathe, Mixed Media, 60'' x 36''

Dr. Madhuri Kathe’s concerns with the human body are subtly expressed, creating her visual idiom through layers of translucent fabric and colors to speak of human interiority undergoing social transformations and acquiring an unbelievable transparency. Nitasha Jaini creates a context for a new emerging identity of the city male in India, dissolving feudal and fundamentalist values of patriarchy. Ritu Kamath celebrates the new woman in the city, free of bondage and sufferings of the male dominated world. 


Ushmita Sahu, a participating artist found this to be an exceptional experience, “I feel when a fellow artist and friend curates a project, it gives participating artists a sense of freedom as well as ownership which was also evident in the regular sharing of thoughts and ideas by all artists in a dedicated WhatsApp group for several months leading up to the show. This camaraderie and commitment has translated into amazing works being created for the show."
Pratul Dash 001 to 003, Water colour on paper, 8'' x 5.5'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Pratul Dash, Water colour on paper, 8'' x 5.5'',
Prasanta Sahu, Reverse painting with Acrylic colour on Acrylic sheet, 24'' x 24'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Prasanta Sahu, Reverse acrylic painting on acrylic sheet, 24'' x 24''

“I have a feeling of accomplishment in bringing good works together, and see the show as a unified one, in terms of display and totality. Conceptually too, all artists have worked in sync to the concept note, but more importantly they were chosen accordingly,” expands Sonpimpare.

Written on Water is a human experience. It is symptomatic of high capitalism as well celebrates newness. Like urban affairs are often celebratory and momentary, the exhibition too celebrates with splashing warmth of acceptance and belongingness. What remains dark is the unsaid, the unspoken, the submerged and lost. The loss and erasure of personal history can be liberating and yet simultaneously scary, like a schizophrenic cacophony. How is human memory going to keep record of ‘celebration as celebration’ is the question!

The show continues till April 7th 2018.

About the Writer: Shubhalakshmi Shukla is an independent writer and curator based in Mumbai. Her first book on contemporary art practices Imagined Locales, is launched by The Studio X Mumbai.

 
All images are courtesy the writer

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