KOCHI: A door-to-door walk through the Backyard Civilization (BC) Gallery in Mattanchery these days means coming across hues encoded with secrets of life, loud and silence.
‘Ordinary Historians and Wayward Daughters’, a show featuring works of 11 artists, cutting across boundaries of gender, place and generation, has all that matters to one who believes colours are a medium to pass, if not smuggle ideas, the essence of human life.
BC, a collective of various artists, formed as a common platform to share and nurture ideas and creativity, has been organising events like exhibitions and poetry/fiction reading for sometime now. For its first collective show, they have chosen 11 artists from various parts of the state, using the yardstick of uniqueness, says Laiju, president, BC.
For him, each artist, whose works are a part of the show, has chosen a path of their own and is able to talk about it clearly, yet what binds them into a bundle is their uncompromising attitude towards the forces that intrude into the realm of art, including market.
Like their ways of wielding the brush, the issues they depict too differ from one another. Senior artist Sosa Joseph’s work ‘Prayer’ is a moment sliced off from an evening of a family in Kerala. Even as being a vivid portrayal of an ordinary moment, the elements of fantasy and perhaps a subtle layer of politics embeded in the work makes it different. “Do not touch on the surface”, two works by Pradeep Kumar KP, too take form crisscrossing boundaries of reality and fantasy.
Shanto Antony’s, the youngest in the group, anthology titled, “Fool’s Garden” is a celebration of colours and abstraction. In the seven works of various sizes, man, nature and perhaps the super natural are blended perfectly. Gipin Varghese’ two works, “A work about Seeds” and “Time Heals all wounds” can’t help but catch your sensibility not just because of their extra large size but the brilliant portrayal of the politics of ecology or life itself. While the former evokes an atavism deep in the hearts of the viewers with its portrayal of the metaphor of seed, the latter is radical with the idea it shares. It portrays a world healed of its wounds, humans.
On the right corner of the hall, you’ll find a face familiar to all those who are into the business of interpreting literature. This portrayal of Derrida by Sreedevi T R could be a tribute to the great literary theorist whom she admires and researches on a lot. Ambish Kumar’s “Untitled” collection is a voice too diffrent in style and substance. These ink-0n-paper pieces are testimonies to the artist’s never ending experiments with and enquiry into the abstraction of reality.
Sabin Mudapathi’s “Re-plantation of the virtue of a village”, in a sense occupies the centre stage of the show. This large work on tea-washed paper portrays a world with a strong bond between the man and nature. No wonder one reads this text together with Gipin’s works for the politics they share. Sanal C S’ single work showcased can be viewed as an expression of the strange yet interesting bond this part of the world finds with the land of magic realism.
K K Muhammed, another veteran artist, has chosen his work, “Body” for the show. The work is noted for the depiction of anatomy, experiments with the medium and the way it features a theme live forever - the quest for self expression.
Aami Atmaja’s works “Pictoreal” and “Beautiful Mom’s Ugly Daughters” are noted for their minute detailing through which the politics of gender is painted.
Siji R Krishnan, another woman voice represented in the show has featured three works, “Sleep”, “Half” and “Swing”. Her works too imprint images of daily life but with a touch of going-beyond-the ordinary. her works can be interpreted as depictions of the inner struggles of individuals and structures. her works are notable for the experiments in medium too.
“The show is receiving good responsefrom artists, art lovers and comoners alike. Local residents coming with family enjoying the show is quiete an encouraging scene. We are planning to organise more programmes, involving the locals in future,” says Laiju. An open art show - “Debtors’ Prison”, - organised by BC in its earlier stage was a huge draw.
The show will be on till October 5.