CHENNAI: The unbreakable relationship between man and nature; the effect of modern and urban culture on the environment; an artistic play on agricultural practices. Artist-cum-art curator Jitha Karthikeyan has handpicked works by artists K Sudheesh, Binu Bhaskar and PP Pradeep to discuss the bitter truths hidden within every grain we consume. Fittingly titled ‘A Grain of Truth’, the show’s motive is to not only serve a feast for art aficionados, but also to open dialogues about agrarian practices and the effects of new technologies of farming and its changing methods.
“The practice of agriculture has changed so much today. Every morsel we consume has stories hidden behind it. The idea for such a show came to me because of a few personal losses and acquaintances being diagnosed with cancer. When you visit hospitals, you understand that there are so many people suffering from different diseases. There’s no explanation as to why they are sick despite leading a healthy lifestyle. When the whys aren’t answered, it leaves you thinking,” explains Jitha.
Born out of the questions that plague our minds on a daily basis, Jitha decided to curate an art show around it. “Today, with the world population rising, the demand for food has increased. In order to meet the demand, people turn to shortcuts and quick fixes. Food is adulterated, fruits and vegetables are ripened using artificial methods, and crops are being genetically modified. Everyone knows they are harmful, but they still end up buying it,” she rues.
The art show does not try to provide specific solutions but it tries to address the issues through different dimensions of art. “All three artists have attempted to address the issue through their own individual expressions and their language,” she shares
Sudheesh’s paintings feature images of Cherala, an imaginary island, believed to be a pseudonym of Kerala in the past. Earth, nature and man are the major themes in his paintings and often explore the bond between man and nature. “Everything plays like a drama on his canvas,” says Jitha.
Binu Bhaskar, an acclaimed photographer, artist and film director has exhibited photographs that almost have the effect of paintings. In this series, he dwells on being conscious of the sap — metaphor for our agrarian practices.
Pradeep’s paintings explore the overpowering invasion of modern and urban cultures and how this affects the environment, especially with the overuse of insecticides, fertilisers , and genetic mutation.
The common thread in the show is the concern the artists have for nature. “This common concern is what brought this show together. The idea was to take socially important messages beyond the walls of the gallery. There will be many more such shows in the future,” she says.
‘A Grain of Truth’ will be held until October 31 at The Art,Kasturi Rangan Road.