‘How many ways am I tied to you’, read the caption. Above it were two framed boxes that explained a conundrum we all face. It’s when we look at relationships and wonder why we seek closeness on the one hand, and distance on the other.
A clever interplay of mind and body determines whether the bonds we form will last or snap, just like the fragility of bangles displayed in artist Nandini Bagla Chirimar’s work ‘How many ways am I tied to you’. For her, the question in itself has become the answer, and she illustrates that through the many janeu and moli threads tied firmly in the work. But for how long, nobody knows.
The exhibition is titled Of Herbariums, Hortoriums, and Home, and Nandini is one of the two artists participating in it. The entire first floor of the gallery speaks of Chirimar’s layered innuendos. Holding our hand, she trots towards the frame at the entrance, pointing towards a geometric assemblage of lines. It’s called ‘Blueprint of my mind’.
“It lets viewers see how multiple mediums such as graphite, pen, etching, and watercolours pose as metaphors for a layered life. One medium finds an impression on the other, creating a multi-surfaced frame, putting together fragments of different memories from my life,” says Chirimar.
Similarly, the work next to it has her nanny’s letters who worked with her family for 48 years. She wrote these to Chirimar, speaking of her love and duty towards Chirimar. The letters have, somewhat, disintegrated but the artist has preserved them by placing them within her artistic narratives, as the central theme in some.
Every frame speaks of aspiration. A burning desire to live and matter.
Till January 12, at Gallery Espace, 16, Community Center, Near Surya Hotel, Sujan Mahindra Road, New Friends Colony.