Telling Tales: A Journey into Narrative Forms: Curated by Aditi Ghildiyal

25 February 2020 - 15 March 2021

 Telling Tales: A Journey into Narrative Forms


Works by Abhishek Narayan Verma, Afrah Shafiq, Aishwaryan Kumaran, Amritah Sen, Debadyuti Saha, Digbijayee Khatua, Ekta Singha, Gopa Trivedi, Jignasha Ojha, Laxmipriya Panigrahi, Pappu Bardhan, Riddhi Vasoya, Suchender P.


New Delhi, February 25th 2020: Presented by Anant Art gallery Telling Tales: A Journey into Narrative Forms is a group exhibition at Bikaner House. You can also view the artworks at


Since the beginning of time we’ve been told stories through art. They have become an important source of communication and in fact, one can trace the trajectory of narrative art to understand how culture has evolved over the centuries. Storytelling is one of the most basic human tendencies. Earlier, art was essentially narratives depicting stories from religion, mythology and legends, historical junctures and literature. Art became the signifier of power and patronage.  With the rise of abstract art in the 20th century the narrative became marginalised. However, during the 90’s when artists felt the need to articulate the politics of identity and difference, they began investing in both abstract and representational forms of art with narrative content.


Today with the changing socio-political landscape and the dominance of social media as the most powerful mode of communication, the dynamics of narration has changed. Seemingly, every aspect of life is a potential subject for commentary or debate and the idea of personal space has diminished altogether. The upside of this occurrence is that it has created a democratic platform for sharing viewpoints. Unscrupulous politics and transgressions can be challenged/confronted leading to greater scope for amendment.


The exhibition contributes to the act of collecting stories within the space of contemporary art production. It will examine how artists have devised new ways to update the age-old quest of storytelling. These new narrative frames will highlight the roles that each of us plays, both as authors and readers. The exhibition hopes to bring together paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, videos and more.






“Drawn in by an endless supply of images in the archives in the North of England of women sitting indoors, quietly, head bent, fingers busy, often alone - lost in what is being created with their hands, St.itch is a multimedia patchwork that explores where the mind travels, as though in a deep daydream, to when the body is engaged in repetitive, endless, invisible, mechanised labour. What relationship does this deep daydream have to machine technology and artificial intelligence? How come early computer pixel graphics resemble cross-stitch patterns? While abiding by a certain conduct have women also been living in code? Is there a glitch in the system to slip through the cracks of the physical realm? Can we decode this system through the archive?”


Afrah Shafiq is a multimedia artist, born in 1989, Mumbai, India. She completed her Bachelor’s Media Studies, English Literature and Psychology from Christ University, Bangalore (2009) and Master’s in Media and Communication from Pune, India. She has been a part of various residencies and her works have been exhibited in multiple exhibitions in India and abroad. She currently lives in Goa, India.




“My works are an attempt to address social and individual anxieties by creating subversive idioms using seemingly insignificant spaces or objects. The working process incorporates characteristics and implications specifically related to degeneration and fragmentation through bouts of time. The images and forms are metaphors that reflect the social and political concerns of my surroundings. As an artist my sensibilities are deeply rooted in the Indian miniaturist traditions, where I attempt to re-infuse and often re-contextualize miniature court styles by fusing traditional painting methods with minimalist abstraction, architecture and new media.”


Gopa Trivedi was born in 1987 and earned her B.V.A and M.V.A in Painting from MS University, Baroda, in 2010 and 2012 respectively. She has been shortlisted for Lepsien Foundation Emerging Award (2015) and has been a recipient of several scholarships and awards including UMISSA Scholarship from S.A.F India (2013), Nasreen Muhammadi Scholarship (2011) and Jairam Patel award (2010). She was also been part of Indian Arteliers Goa India and B.N.U Lahore, Pakistan residencies in 2013 and 2014. Gopa lives and works in Gurugram, India.




“While dealing with one of the basic human emotions – ‘fear’ – which commonly taken as a negative drive, this project actually hunts down stories of empathy, spreads a feeling of oneness among people who share the same cultural history but are divided by political boundaries.”


Amritah Sen has completed her BFA and MFA specialising in painting from Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan. Her solo shows have been hosted by various galleries in India and abroad. She is currently based in Kolkata.



“My work is primarily inspired by Indian miniature painting. The ideas flow like a dialogue between popular media and the self, past and the present, which then fuse together to create a dramatic avenue. This juxtaposition deliberately creates an interaction to criticise the society and raises some relevant questions. Reflections of truth in my work remains in a constant hide and seek with the onlooker.”


Jignasha Ojha has done her BFA (Painting) and MFA (Painting) from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.University Baroda, Gujarat. She was awarded the National Junior Fellowship Awarded by Govt. of India, Ministry of Culture (2014), the Asia Pacific Fellowship by National Museum Republic of South Korea (2011) and Commonwealth Arts and Craft Award by Commonwealth Foundation, London (2007). She has been part of various group shows and currently lives in Baroda.



"The Crux of my work is the personal interpretation of layers of experiences woven with paraphernalia of design motifs, forms, and elements derived from miniature paintings. They are the juxtaposition of memories, metaphors and histories that tries to create images not only visually but also cerebrally engages the viewer."


Born in 1991, Kolkata, Ekta completed her M.V.A in Painting (Mural) from MSU,Baroda (2015) and BVA from Govt. College of Art and Craft, Kolkata. Currently based in Baroda, she has participated in more than 7 solo shows and various group exhibitions in India and abroad. 



“My works dwell in the grey areas of conflict and contradiction that is inherent in the contemporary Indian psyche, struggling to bridge tradition with modernity. I try to revisit the grey areas where traditional thoughts often clash with my experiences or rather re-contextualise by modernity.”


Debadyuti Saha was born in 1990 in Kolkata. He accomplished his BFA (2014) and MFA (2016) in Indian style of Painting from Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata. He was granted National Scholarship (2014) and Award of Fellowship (2018-2020) by Ministry of Culture, New Delhi. His works have been a part of various international and national exhibitions. The artist is currently based in Kolkata.




The artist employs a unique technique of hand-bleaching prints and adding extraordinary details of paint. “My work tries to generate a situational story-telling with autobiographical references along with myths and popular sayings. Taking self-reference and portraying myself as a protagonist is like enacting a solo play and encountering mundane situations in the hands of a character who can fall, rise and restart exploring by dragging the struggles and fear of uncertainty behind, with a backdrop of urban conveniences and relationships. This activity allows me to approach contemplative depths.”


Abhishek Narayan Verma was born in 1990 in Bihar. He completed his BFA in painting from the College of Art, New Delhi (2012) and MVA in Graphics from M.S University, Baroda (2015). He has been a gold medalist and has received a Scholarship from Ministry of Culture (2014), and Jean-Claude Reynal Travel Grant, France (2018). He has participated in several national and international exhibitions. The artist is currently based in Baroda.




“The machine acquires a major part for the people in the city. It carries the aesthetic beauty as well as the ugliness of science. In the paintings I portray urbanity within a larger spectrum of a green and eco-friendly environment, which the city usually stays away from.”


Born in Orissa in 1989, Digbijayee Khatua completed his M.F.A. in painting from College of Art, Delhi in 2015 and B.F.A. in Visual Arts from B K College of Art and Crafts, Bhubaneswar in 2012. Digbijayee has been a part of important residencies as well as eminent group shows. The artist is currently based in New Delhi.




“I have always been tempted and engrossed with the idea of observing people, the way they walk, talk, and dress. Humans, being social animals, always find themselves in a crowd of physical and metaphysical assembly which ironically renders them in a state of solitary introspection. The ideological differences across generations, their reservations and impositions, burgeon into frustration. With this I find inspiration in my reciprocation with the world and other people.”


Riddhi Vasoya was born in Gujarat in 1993 and completed her diploma in Painting from Sheth C. N. College of Fine Arts, Ahmedabad, Gujarat (2016) and post-diploma in graphic print-making from M. S. University, Vadodra, Gujarat (2018). Vasoya has been a part of multiple workshops and group shows. The artist currently resides in Baroda.



“An invisible, disparate yardstick measures the physical and intellectual toil. While one bears the brunt, the other emerges as cardinal. Who is the master and who is the slave?”


Suchender has completed his BFA and MFA in painting from CAVA, Mysore. His solo shows have been featured in various reputed galleries in India. His dynamic water colours render the complicated relationship between man and animals. He is based in Mysore.




“The works portray human life and psychology. Human being likes nature but lives in an unnatural environment. Overall, it creates the paradigm of the unnatural and dilemma within human psychology. My practice elaborates my complex vision of simple images where characters from past come in to create a dramatic output. They also posit relevant questions on our present society and the issues concerning us.”


Laxmipriya Panigrahi (b. 1989) in Orissa. She completed her Bachelors in Visual Arts (Painting) from Balasore Art and Crafts College, Balasore (Odisha) in 2013 and Masters in Visual Arts (Painting) from Utkal University of Culture, Odisha in 2015. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions and has been a recipient of various prestigious awards. Laxmipriya lives and works in New Delhi.




“My works are primarily inspired by nature; its mysteries and complexities. The emphasis is on the interplay between an assiduously cultivated language and catches the unmistakable Bardhan effect- an unresolved truce with idioms, in which the fluidity of watercolours and commonplace find themselves entangled.”


Born in Kolkata in 1975, Pappu Bardhan did his B.V.A. in Painting from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 1999 and post diploma in Graphics from M.S. University, Vadodara in 2001. He has been a part of various group and solo shows. The artist lives and works in Kolkata.




"To create an artwork is to dream, visualize and fantasize.. a luxury for most. Following the saga of constant struggle and continued survival, in a place that exaggerates productivity, interlaces as our narrative."


Born in 1986 in India, Aishwaryan K. received his Diploma in Painting from KEN School of Art, Bengaluru (2008) and a Post Diploma in Printmaking, Bangalore University, Bengaluru (2010). Aishwaryan has been conferred with various awards and fellowships. His solo and group shows have been received very well in the past few years. Aishwaryan lives and works in Bengaluru, Karnataka.


About Anant Art gallery:


Established in early 2000s, Anant Art Gallery has been one of the leading galleries focusing on contemporary South Asian art practices. Since its first show, it has engaged with leading multidisciplinary artists, providing multiple venue exhibitions, residencies and art fair representations. With a cross-section of both young and senior artists, the gallery currently represents Aisha Khalid, Probir Gupta, Ghulam Mohammad, Digbijayee Khatua, Abhishek Narayan Verma, Arslan Farooqi, Laxmipriya Panigrahi, Rehana Mangi and Dhara Mehrotra, in India.



The show will be on view from 25th February to 15th March, 2020 at

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