An Ode to Nature

An Ode to Nature

By Aditi Ghildiyal

In today’s day and time human-nature interface has become an active subject of critical enquiry. Careless exploitation of natural resources has disrupted the inherent equilibrium of the multiple ecosystems existing in tandem. Experiencing the magnificence of nature has become a luxurious endeavour. Humans with their ludicrous egos seem to live in denial, failing to comprehend the impending doom upon them

The Era of Romanticism was a testimony to intense expressions upon liberation, individualism and the glory of past and nature. Literature, music, painting and drama became agencies of revolution and reciprocation. Artists like JW Turner, John Constable, Casper David Friedrich, Thomas Cole and poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, PB Shelly and Lord Byron were the key protagonists of the Romantic Movement who focused extensively on elucidating the grandeur and essence of nature.

Artists and writers have always been observant and sensitive to such occurrences. And over the years, employing their craft have tried to initiate a dialogue with the world. This is where the concept of the exhibition "And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie..." emerged from.

Gopa Trivedi

Gopa Trivedi, Untitled (Set of 5), Silver foil and Gouache on Wasli, 8 x 12 inches (each), 2019

For example Gopa Trivedi’s work explored the effect time has on spaces, objects and nature. The Untitled (set of 5) work illustrates the decay and surrender of space overtime. On view are five silver tiles replete with intricate Jali like pattern. Each panel depicts the different phases of deterioration the tile undergoes. The moss like matter gradually encroaches the visual, slyly making its way through the cracks and fractures present in the tile. “My work essentially incorporates narrative structures, taking inspiration from the seemingly insignificant every day spaces. The working process incorporates characteristics and implications specifically related to space, time, degeneration and fragmentation,” says Gopa.

Laxmipriya Panigrahi

Laxmipriya Panigrahi, Land of Happiness, Watercolour and Gouache on Paper, 60 x 36 inches, 2019

Laxmipriya Panigrahi’s works, namely Land of Happiness and Window of Heaven recall the sublimity that artists exhibited during the Romantic era. The works display a vertical panorama, guiding your eyes gradually from the bottom of the painting to the top. The immaculate detailing and adherence to perspective employed by Laxmipriya lures you into the depths of the wilderness, trekking across a semi-surreal landscape where you encounter myriad creatures in the course of the journey. Laxmipriya points out, “In these hyper real, digital times, it is easy to forget, and even resist, that we are susceptible to natural forces. It is undoubtedly important to feel a connection to the natural world... in fact, it is vital to our survival!”

Pappu Bardhan

Pappu Bardhan, Untitled II, Watercolour on Paper, 30 x 22 inches, 2014 ; Pappu Bardhan, Untitled 2, Watercolour on Paper, 30 x 20 inches, 2018

"My works are primarily inspired by nature; its mysteries and complexities," explains artist Pappu Bardhan. Adept in watercolor, the artist's works exudes finesse of the Bengal school while subtly engaging in a contemporary discourse. His imagery plays with your vision. There are human and animal figures lurking in the periphery that gradually sneak in your observation and endow a new perspective to the work.

Binay Sinha

Binay Sinha, Eternal Dance of Nature (Set of 2), Mix Media on Paper, 27 x 19 inches (each), 2019

Binay Sinha’s works explore his thoughts, feelings and ideas on contemporary issues, whether social, political, or environmental gripping the society today. Born in Ranchi, a city in Jharkhand that is surrounded by some of the richest natural resources in the country, the artist had the privilege of observing and understanding nature from proximity. His roots become the foundation for his art practice. Binay does not restrict his practice to certain mediums, techniques or even subject matter.

Ganesh Das

Ganesh Das, In Search of Existence (1-10), Tempera on Wasli, 10 x 7.5 inches, 2019

Ganesh Das’ works are an amalgamation of diverse mythologies, philosophies, histories and culture. The quintessential man that one sees depicted in his works is none other than the artist himself trying to fathom the mysteries of the universe. The artist believes that, “The Quest for truth is the ultimate purpose of life. In fact, most of the time we cannot see or understand the hidden mystery of nature for it cannot be discovered. We think that our relationship with nature is only the need of our time. The whole universe consists of the same atomic structure atoms, all are made up of the atomic mass of the biosphere, atoms contain the very existence of life then it is true that the universe and I are almost the same.”

Dayananda N

Dayananda N, Antargata (container), Watercolour on paper, 48 x 36 inches, 2019

Born and brought up on a farm land, Dayananda is well versed with the life of a farmer in our country. His works recall his childhood and his family vocation of farming. With each passing day he realized the disconnect humans are facing with nature. He employs his works as his mode of expression and wishes to enunciate the lost history of our agrarian society; revive the fading traditions and simplicity associated with it. Part of this exhibition were works like Antargata (container) in which he focused on the relevance of gunny bags for farmers that is used to store grains and shelter animals from rain and sun.

Santanu Dey

Santanu Dey, Artificial Mountain (Set of 12), Mixmedia on Paper, 6.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches (each), 2019

Santanu Dey’s mix media works explore the dichotomous relationship we humans share with nature. “In the present times the real problem of space implies environment issues. In developing countries the adjustment to modern ways is problematic and consequently of major concern in my work. Multinational companies and our ever increasing demands have made a great impact on the urban as well as rural landscape. In order to make our lives comfortable we end up using natural resource in an unplanned manner. We are destroying a lot more than needed. I want to reveal all these crucial problems to my viewers”

Shushanta Kumar Maharana

Shushanta Moharana, And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie..(1), Heena on Rain Tree Wood, 30 x 17 x 8 inches, 2019

Spatial distribution and accuracy dominates Sushanta Kumar Moharan’s latest body of work. They are relief sculptures carved out of wood and constitute some uncanny geometrical patterns found in nature. For example in the work titled And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie.. – III, the spatial congregation is constituted of a Roman cross, a concave hexagon, plants and animals. He has also applied consecutive layers of Heena on wood to achieve a specific tint that reflects light off the surface.

Arjun Das

Arjun Das, Obscure from the mires-II (Set of 3), Wood, 11x 13 x 2.5 inches (each), 2018

Arjun Das explores the commonplace through sculptural processes and material. The technique plays an important role in his art practice. Varied objects from spaces like the kitchen, washroom, market, bedroom and other architectural spaces, that are irreconcilable in nature are put together forming an irrational juxtaposition. On display were a series of works titled “Obscures from the mires” where the artist explores the banality of everyday objects present in a home. Each panel appears to be in the shape of a tablet carved in wood and excavated from the ruins of time.

Ekta Singha

Ekta Singha, She is Made up of Everything that Doesn’t exist in this World, Gouache, Graphite & Pigment on Nepali Handmade paper pasted on Linen, 60 x 36 inches, 2019

In Ekta Singha’s works one comes across numerous metaphors and realities stitched together in a non-linear narrative. She draws from her personal history and experiences, places she’s lived or visited, maps, relationships, intersection of values and the coexistence of the old and new. “These elements have their own Individual characters, but when placed together they develop patterns, and it creates a different context in my work; transcending from their original decorative values which were essentially relegated to them.” Her scrolls reiterate lost stories from her childhood and along with her day to day experiences. The scrolls are made by pasting handmade paper on linen.

Rajnish Chhanesh

Rajnish Chhanesh, Untold Story-1 (Set of 2), Acrylic, Gouache and Ink on Paper, 29 x 24 inches (each), 2019

Artist Rajnish Chhanesh reflects on the engagement humans share with nature. He claims on creating ecologically informed artworks that focus on transformation or reclamation. "The complex beauty of nature has always inspired me, whether it is the array of colors in a sunset or the natural geometry of a pinecone, I pick and choose all forms and colors until I bring forth a complete harmony. I try to reflect our human engagement with the natural world and create ecologically informed artworks that focus on transformation or reclamation."

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