Powerful narratives

Powerful narratives

Arjun Das says that his artistic exploration takes him back to the spaces where these migrant labourers once thrived.

HYDERABAD: Patterns resembling sprouting seeds made with copper wires, which feel like rust when touched, are the hallmark of artist Poorvesh Patel. He explores his childhood affinity through this unique medium, conveying deep emotions. Arjun Das, on the other hand, presents meticulously carved wooden works representing the everyday life of migrant workers that amazed visitors at the “IIID Showcase Insider X 2024” at Hitex Exhibition Centre.

Presented by Dhi Contemporary, Poorvesh Patel and Arjun Das, who explore different mediums, displayed their artworks at the largest exhibition which aims to showcase the best and latest trends in the design industry, featuring participation from 150+ exhibitors and 300+ brands from pan India.

Poorvesh Patel, hailing from Navsari, Gujarat, represents childhood affinity through brown-coloured rust works with oxidised copper wires inserted in certain patterns. Regarding his works, he says, “They actually come from deep within, where I engage in a continuous battle with my alter ego. In that process, sparks happen, as friction takes place, and my works are born from these sparks. Sometimes I think it’s a long wait, as if I am waiting for a big bang somewhere. Sometimes it feels like a moving scene out of the window of a running train.”

“Starting from the germination of a visual until its delivery on the canvas is a long journey with sharp bends where my mind has to make quirky movements. These movements are the abstractions I play with in my works. The shapes and forms I inherit, as I am very close to nature. The colour of rust excites me because I can see something beyond the rust. It’s like seeing another life after a loss. It’s like the phoenix experiencing rebirth every time. Because I don’t believe in a complete end, I believe in the small chance that remains every time we think it’s the end. So, my work keeps moving on the wings of change,” he adds.

He derives inspiration from his personal journeys, “My works amplify personal journeys, where the protagonist is my colour scheme. Through this, my emotional behaviour converses with the ongoing socio-political scenario. I draw help from my daily life and compare it with my subconscious to create a visual. I believe that concept is my workflow and it is omnipresent.”

While Poorvesh Patel’s works explore his personal journeys, Arjun Das delves into narratives of migrant labourers and their transition from village to urban landscapes. “My immersive experience in a small restaurant allowed me to intimately observe their lifestyles and societal dynamics. This critical juncture in my journey enabled me to witness firsthand the complex tapestry of migration, where economic factors predominantly drove individuals from marginalised communities to leave everything behind in pursuit of a better livelihood.”

Arjun Das says that his artistic exploration takes him back to the spaces where these migrant labourers once thrived. Employing sculptural processes, he intervenes in domains he was once a part of, peering into the behaviour of objects within kitchens, washrooms, markets, and beyond. An enigmatic interplay of disparate data from these spaces takes shape, and through irrational juxtaposition, they are shifted from their mundane contexts to the periphery of his artistic expression.

“I employ the technique of relief work onto my chosen medium of wood as I found artistic merit in repurposing discarded materials from the very sites I once frequented. Using common objects in my artwork, I engage with archival carving techniques using visual references from Indian cave architecture to portray the historic recurrence of political power oppressing the working-class, inviting viewers to contemplate the intricacies of migration, economic disparity, and the human spirit’s indomitable will to thrive amidst challenges,” he concludes.

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The New Indian Express
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