Shraddhanjali - 2014, an exhibition mounted at Rashtriya Lalit Kala Akademi here, pays tribute to senior painter late Byomakesh Mohanty in a visually delightful way. The exhibition brings together over 40 artists, from India and abroad, displaying their creations in the form of paintings, photographs, wood work and sculptures.
Shraddhanjali is an amalgamation of artworks ranging from landscape to abstracts, figurative themes to deities in different media like photography, oil on canvas, granite, industrial waste, acrylic and water colour. Two works that draw attention are of veteran actor late Sarat Chandra Pujari and senior painter late Suresh Balbantray. While Pujari’s watercolour work on a Himalayan landscape appears serene, Balbantray’s work ‘Tatwa’ revolves around Tantric concepts.
Artist Sangita Pattnaik portrays a bunch of mushrooms growing on a tree in the backdrop of high-rises in her acrylic on canvas work titled ‘Colonialism’. Painted in bright yellow and brown, her work draws a parallel between nature and humanity, both vying for space in alien lands.
Sudhanshu Sutar, Odia artist settled in Gurgaon, paints the cultural upheaval.
The group exhibition also includes ‘Habitat’, a painting by Ashok Kumar Das, which depicts villagers in a traditional rural backdrop. It also features Anuradha Pradhan’s acrylic painting representing a girl’s varied emotions and Bhawani Shankar Das’ ‘President’ portraying the dreamy eyes of a child.
Apart from these, the display includes Dr Falguni Ray’s abstracts in acrylic, Janapriya Devta’s work on ‘Form’ in acrylic and Lalatendu Rath’s painting of a boy bidding farewell to his toys. In a work titled ‘Social Ties’, painter Ranjan Mallick tries to explore relationships. He creates an image of a ‘marriage procession’ where a groom is shown riding a cycle, which carries the mask of a horse. “The way we conduct ourselves, with every man having a million facets to his personality, has been the focal point of my works. The masks I use are powerful motifs that bring out the many faces of human nature,” he says.
Granite and wood find innovative forms at the hands of artists Hemant Kumar Moharana and Uma Shankar Das. Hemant uses drift wood to show the form of a bird in flight and Das works with metal to create a fly. An interesting creation is that of Tapas Samanta who has worked with granite to show the cultural ethos of a country.
Talking about the exhibition, curator and artist, Meenaketan Pattnaik, whose work is also on display, says, “This year we have artists from Dubai, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, the US, Japan and Singapore participating in this annual tribute to the master painter, which is being organised under the aegis of Artists’ Association of Odisha.”