Where art does not age

In its first-ever edition, Samagam Art Fest 2024 brings a group show featuring the works of both established and emerging artists
An artwork on display
An artwork on display

In the bustling art scene of Delhi, emerging artists often find it difficult to share the limelight with eminent artists at exhibitions. ‘Samagam Art Fest 2024’ aims to shatter such hierarchies by organising an inclusive art show — expect a Padma Shri awardee and a 14-year-old school girl showcasing on the same platform here. Curated by Meghansh, a sculptor and painter from Delhi, and co-curated by self-taught city-based artist Karuna Jain, the show in its first edition aims to put various forms of art on display, without the restriction of a theme. “As the word ‘Samagam’ itself says — it’s a confluence of myriad art forms. The show brings artworks in acrylic, oil on canvas, jute, linen, paper and other mediums besides sculptures in ceramics, bronze and mixed media. We have also included works in printmaking, weaving, filmmaking and photography,” Jain tells TMS, adding that “every artist is unique in their style, hence, we have not imposed any theme and have just let them express themselves”.

The group show at Visual Arts Gallery in India Habitat Centre (IHC) from May 23 to 27 showcases the work of 46 artists, including Shyam Sharma, Roop Chand, Karuna Jain, Meghansh, Shashikala Singh, Vijendra S. Vij, Sajal Banerjee, Bhargavee Atulchandra Kulkarni, Dhaarna Jai Singhani, Jasmine Pannu, Shivani Tibrewal, Simple Mohanty, Dipti Gupta and Dinesh Kumar Ram, among others.

The exhibition also marks the centenary year of India’s most notable contemporary artist, F.N. Souza, known for his Expressionist and Cubist paintings of still life, landscapes and erotic subjects. “Unlike many of the artists, he was unbothered by the art market, and painted what came to his creative mind,” says Meghansh at the show. The show also pays tribute to Padma Bhushan and National Award-winning artist A. Ramachandran, known for his Expressionist paintings and sculptures, who died this February. “He has been a source of inspiration for every Indian artist. He has given a different kind of language to art. As he passed away this year, I feel it’s my duty as an artist to pay tribute to an illustrious figure like him. He was a maestro,” Meghansh adds.

The exhibition’s youngest artist, Bhargavee Atulchandra Kulkarni, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Mount St. Mary’s School, Delhi Cantonment, was excited to display her artwork for the first time at a show. “Being the youngest artist here, I am happy and also nervous to be displaying with such established artists,” she says. Kulkarni’s artwork ‘Ecstasy’ follows an intricate pattern of lines with bright red tulips to break the monotony. “I used to paint after coming from school, late at night after 9 pm. I used to put on my earphones and draw where my imagination took me,” she says.

‘Samagam Art Fest’ will host a workshop for children, including the hearing-impaired, (date?) by textile and visual artist Shalini Dutt. “She will teach children to create various patterns with old and discarded clothes and how to weave beautiful patterns, making it interesting for them to learn the craft,” Jain adds.

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The New Indian Express