Nostalgia in Wood
Pieces of ancient carved wood have been transformed into art installations at the solo exhibition ‘Ghan Phut’ by Bangalore based artist Shraddha Rathi. These strike a nostalgic note at Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad. Celebrating revitalization and renewal, the art works are as much symbols and remnants of melancholy and heritage as an ode to the centuries old craft of exquisite wood carving.
Shraddha describes the artworks as ‘the contrasting confluence of modern day concrete blocks and a century old piece of carved wood which reveal the impermanence of life today and the strength of yester times’.
Born in 1974, Rathi studied performing arts and architecture. A practicing artist for more than fifteen years now, her initial paintings drew inspiration from her architecture and classical dance background. From hyperrealistic paintings of exquisite carvings and sculptures of ancient India she gravitated towards abstraction and installation art. She experimented with installations in wood and metal that combined paint and text to create a play with the display space as well. A series of functional wood pieces formed interactive art that could engage the viewer at another level. The gratitude bench with text related to gratitude engraved on it was the highlight of this show held a few years ago.
Recently, when Shraddha came across carved reclaimed wooden pieces that were more than a century old, her formal background in architecture and her desire to draw attention to the magnificence of these pieces, which are often discarded as architectural waste, inspired her to transform them into art installations. She worked with carved pieces that were originally parts of structural elements of havelis and wadas, to uncover and reveal the beauty of each cubic foot of wood.
As she says, “Ghan phut celebrates the unusual convergence of the past and the present, through stories that come alive with reconstruction and revitalization.”
The exhibition is online here at Kalakriti Art Gallery
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