It’s never been a better time in India to interpret calendars artistically. The month of December 2019 in the country will go down in history. It will be known for its multiple voices resulting in collective strength and leading to movements across the country.
One exhibition in the capital city, centering on the theme of time, has focused on calendars.
Titled Painted Almanac, a group exhibition at Gallery Threshold features nine artists who examine the current times while also looking at the future.
According to gallery founder Tunty Chauhan who is also the curator of the show, “Anindita’s Bhattacharya’s artwork, titled Thick as Guilt, conveys a very grim reality of extinction of species of animals, birds and insects for which we as humans are accountable. It talks about global warming in an impending way.” She adds, “Similarly, Desmond Lozaro’s use of gold to Iconizes time shows the significance of celestial events.”
For the curator, this obsession of mapping time has led to seminal research on cosmology, astrology and art. She says, “For this exhibition, I invited artists to critically examine the concept of time. Does art freeze a moment in Time or does it conquer time? The artists acting in the present, establish their consciousness in a sacred are free from the influence of time.”
Chauhan was motivated by such questions and so took up this challenging subject for the exhibition. She says, “ Time is an intangible notion. It is perhaps one of the most alluring and confounding concepts known to humankind. Yet, how time is experienced and what is measured is very complicated and way beyond the mundane everyday concepts of seconds and hours. The idea churned in my mind for almost two years now.”
Through the exhibits, the artists have explored historical, geological and cosmic time. They have also looked into certain belief systems while examining old and new visual representations of calendars.
Artist Roshan Chabbria revisits the idea of calendar advertising. According to him, people never throw away images of Gods. Primarily using references from Raja Ravi Varma’s oleographs, Chabbria showcases Krishna for Woods-Worth Gripe water, Bharat Mata for textile mills and Lord Vishnu promoting Sunlight soap, among others.
Till: December 24
At: Threshold Art Gallery