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Pandemic musings

An ongoing group exhibition, albeit online as dictated by our times, attempts to give an outlet to the creative energies of artists.

Published: 08th August 2020 11:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2020 11:06 AM   |  A+A-

Nitasha Jaini’s mixed media work, Lockdown Drawing III

An ongoing group exhibition, albeit online as dictated by our times, attempts to give an outlet to the creative energies of artists. Titled The Spirit Remains Unlocked, curated by Delhi-based Lubna Sen, this ongoing show at theartroute.com, features over 100 artworks. It features 30 artists from Delhi, Mumbai, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, other places in India and abroad, and showcases multiple mediums ranging from painting, sculpture, ceramic, photography, etc.

Lubna Sen speaks to The Morning Standard about curating the show remotely. “ I was already familiar with most of the artists included here. I had seen their artworks before as per my previous engagements with them, so it was easier to bring them onboard. The project started on March 25, 2020, on the first day of the initial three-week lockdown and was finished by May. The overall idea was to celebrate the unrestrained creative spirit of artists,” she says.

Interestingly, the show has a few women artists from Delhi. Delhi-based photographer Rashmi Rai has photographed fallen and dry leaves for the project. She wanted to focus on a minimalist life brought about by decluttering. “A leaf is a metaphor for life and its continuity. We are moving towards a minimal life, forced or otherwise. Just like the dry leaf can crumble at the slightest pressure, so can the mind. I don’t know whether the negative space is to focus or just to let it be,” she says.

Nitasha Jaini, born in Punjab in 1963 and now works from Gurgaon, has made a series of lockdown drawings depicting the violence faced by the domestic abuse victims. Her artworks, mixed media on paper, take cues from newspaper reports that clock an increase in violence against women. It is easy to imagine a helpless victim of gender-based oppression living in fear with her tormentor in closed spaces. “My works show urban men in box-like frames representing urban houses.

Series of works flow one from another, with thoughts about patriarchy, stamp like cut outs have been used to get the urban sameness,” she says. Gurgaon-based Usha Garodia ideates with clay and focuses on the natural aspects of the new world while looking inwards. Her work, Journey Within, depicts this as the design unfolds to feature multiple colours. She says, “My work is like meditation for me. Every time I feel low, my work has lifted me. There is beauty all around. We simply have to keep our eyes open and absorb it.”

In a nutshell
The Spirit Remains Unlocked, an ongoing show at theartroute.com, features over 100 artworks by 30 artists across mediums. Till: August 15



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