CHENNAI: It might look like a mere piece of junk. Ask a sculptor and he will find beauty in it. Beauty and Bliss, an exhibition by the Chennai Rail Museum, Integral Coach Factory at Chennai Central was inaugurated by Naveen Gulati, Divisional Railway Manager of Chennai division, Southern railways, on Wednesday and will be on till July 26. This is their seventh camp.
The seven sculptures by seven city-based artists are made from metal scraps and factory-rejected parts like nuts and bolts, fan parts, locks, metal sheets and tools. Each work of art has a different metal of choice and theme behind the design. “We wanted people from all walks of life to have a chance to witness our work. To make the backdrop more presentable, the walls were painted by students of JBAS College. Our GM Sudhansu Mani has been a huge motivation,” says Thejomaye Menon, curator of the art exhibition.
Senior artist AV Ilango in his art piece titled ‘Visual movement in space’ has used mild steel scrap to bring ruggedness to his work. The sculpture shows roosters fighting mid-air, projecting the yin and yang of life. The piece by Shalini Biswajit, director of Forum Art Gallery, titled ‘Travails of travel’, is made of painted steel. It shows a passenger sitting with luggage of all shapes scattered around him. While his family members hasten to board the train, he is overwhelmed by thoughts.
Artist Jacob Jebaraj decided to keep his model ‘Migration’ in its raw and rustic state made of welded steel and patina. He has explored shapes, forms and textures related to migration in nature and humans adapting to it. He sees this work as a spiritual migration between the inside and outside world.
Inspired by the poems of Tholkapiam and writings of Silapathikaram, artist Chelian titled his artwork Yazhini (Then Madurai, Kumari Kandam BC 3500). He believes Yazhini to be the epitome of all that he treasures as a Tamilian. The woman standing with the instrument yazh is engraved with literary names and archaeological sites of Tamil Nadu. Artist Asma Menon’s work ‘Boscage’ symbolises daily life and deterioration of nature. The assemblage is classic with foreground, middle ground and background montage. The background highlights the spine of the tree that has been hacked. She has also added growing leaves to signify the re-appearance of nature.
Shailesh BO’s model, ‘The Bird’, portrays a bird as a traveller, passenger and receiver. He uses flowers as an expression of love and reward at the end of the journey. The last model is by artist and art educator Thejomaye Menon titled ‘The Mirage — In You & Me’. The model shows a human figure burdened by boxed thoughts, mirrors to show our reflection and the four wheels of trolley are the illusionary stability we strive to achieve.