When Delhi-based artists Aakshat Sinha and Ranjan Kaul launched ArtAmour—a blog that aims to enhance awareness of visual art—they did not expect the number of artists and artworks they would be exposed to. On ArtAmour completing a year, Sinha and Kaul decided to co-curate ‘An Imaginal Affair’ to mark the occasion. The exhibition that opened at Stainless Art Gallery on October 9 is currently displayed virtually through their website. Featuring over 40 artists and more than 150 artworks from around the world, it brings together diverse pieces connected by common threads of imagery and imagination.
Featuring artworks across mediums such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, origami, and more, this exhibition was put together keeping in mind the commonalities in the works of the artists from different backgrounds.
Talking about the challenges they faced while curating the exhibition, Sinha says, “There was a lot of diversity in terms of the works we selected. Hence, the challenges were multi-fold. But, we were able to work around it by identifying a common thread.”
Discussing how they overcome these challenges, Sinha continues, “As curators, we worked on a subconscious level. While curating the physical event, we put a lot of thought on how a person would perceive the exhibit. We tried to put together the artworks in a manner that the final display did not seem out of sorts. We also did not want to spoon-feed the audience but help them connect with the pieces on display.”
Art exhibitions are often considered impenetrable as far as social barriers are concerned. However, Sinha and Kaul made it a point to ensure that the populace that visited this exhibition or will view it online is able to appreciate the works on display. “We have always spoken about the gap that exists between art and society. Rather than alienating the public, we believe it is important for the artist to help them engage with the piece of work,” says Sinha.
Among the 40 artists whose works are on display, Delhi-based photographer Vipin Baloni is exhibiting three photographs: ‘Taj As I See It’, ‘The Trivial Things’ and ‘A Sleepless Soul’. “Silence has intrigued me enormously. It comes from my own sensibilities, so the motivation to work on any subject is internal rather than external,” says Baloni, as he explores the themes of light, silence, and stillness from a philosophical point of view. “This exhibition provides a nice platform for young artists like me and others to join hands with some of the most prominent artists of India and abroad,” he notes.
Alka Chadha Harpalani, a Bengaluru-based artist, whose artwork titled ‘Together I and II’ is also on display, talks about her art, “The piece is an amalgamation of images, textures, and calligraphy that acts as a design in the background quite often. The series of mixed media artworks is a representation of a quest in the journey of delving deep into self, nostalgia, and togetherness.”