It’s all about the little thing that beats in the middle of his chest, his benevolent heart that refuses to be consoled with mere words when it hurts. That’s the story of Gurmeet Singh Marwah, who through his new exhibition Red Bubbles, opens up his fragile heart.
Marwah’s work is based on narratives at two levels, the personal and the societal. All the work you see are sarcastic expressions of what he perceives from his environment. At a level, they are so intimate that they reflect his own deeply felt emotions based on his experiences. “The satire inherent in my work serves to resolve my inner conflicts,” says.
Talking of which, desire shows up as the most puissant. He is human afterall, and has been through his share of love and loss. Emerging from that grief, he talks about the heart’s vulnerability to entrapment. “I use animals as symbols, as well as crucibles of emotive content,” he says.
Serious contemplations have been dealt with a certain lightness that is characteristic of Marwah’s work. The imageries are rendered in a way to make them easy on the eye. The use of colour, specially red, makes the central idea of the art works even more salient.
“The image of the docile cow becomes a spectacle, while its lies feeding off waste generated by society. Similarly, people use the image of Gandhi ji everywhere, without fully understanding or following his values. The donkey represents obstinacy against odds,” he says.
You have other animals like the wise owl that symbolises legacy. The crown, jars and soda-bottles are used as symbols representing the artists deliberations. The entrapment of hearts in jars and soda-bottles, for instance, leads us to various visual innuendos. “The series depicts examples of human behaviour and interactions as satire, using animals as metaphors,” Marwah tells us.
A number of mediums have lent their uniqueness to the artists canvas. Charcoal, acrylic, oil, watercolours, lithograph, etchings and linocuts are some of them. After working in with all of them, Marwah’s favourite remains woodcut, a relief printing technique in printmaking.
The medium changes but one thing always remains—the image of the heart. A break-up and some unfortunate incidents later, his responses changed forever. But he never let his heart fall weak. “One time, I encountered the image of the heart being described as ‘just design, not love’ and that resonated deeply.
Marwah is in a happy place today, but his heart continues to beat faster than his emotions and he does fall prey to its entrapments every now and then. But don’t we all?
Red Bubbles: On view till November 14, from 11 am to 7 pm, Art Konsult Gallery, Hauz Khas Village.