Punashchetana, an exhibit by Bengaluru-based Shenoy Art Foundation, features 16 artists and their perception of the ‘new normal’
The lockdown has been a dampener for artists in more ways than one — apart from zero sales or exhibitions, the enforced isolation has kept them from all manner of interaction, curbing any ray of inspiration they may have received.“The world is going through a new life experience and that is what Punashchetana is all about,” says Bengaluru-based artist Gurudas Shenoy.“This has been a trying time, especially for younger artists with no scope for art camps, galleries or exhibitions since most artists have to sell their work to live.”
Acutely aware of the need for artists to work continuously and remain motivated during this period, Shenoy encouraged young artists to have a body of work ready to exhibit whenever the lockdown lifted. “The Shenoy Art Foundation chose about 11 artists we have worked with before, as well as five new ones and gave them a grant to help them with material so they could continue working during the lockdown. We also told them they would have a platform to showcase their creations, so they would work towards that goal.”
The process served as a physical, mental and emotional outlet for the artists whose creativity seemed to have been set free. Shenoy says, “Exclusion from family and friends, the change of everything familiar, a constraint of space — it led to them improvising, experimenting and adapting to the circumstances around them.”“For instance, one of the artists, Pradeep Kumar, who is also a farmer, painted on circular tiles used by the farming community in his hometown. He created agrarian-themed works during this period.” Tabbu Tabassum who hails from Bellari and works on Mysore stone says the lockdown had put her in a tight spot. “It was proving difficult to source stones, but I eventually managed. Space was also a constraint when working from home and none of my sculptures could be bigger than two feet. However, the exhibition was a chance for me to display my work,” she says.
Punashchetana showcases the creative mindset of many first-generation artists when the lockdown was at its peak. Different genres, styles and media not only reflect contemporary issues, but also the artists’ perception of the ‘new normal’. Punashchetana can be viewed at the Shenoy Art Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages till November 30.