HASHIYA: The New Protagonist

HASHIYA: The New Protagonist

By Neha Sankhala

Desert Meets the River

Title: Desert Meets the River Title: A ForgottenPlace

Artist: Manisha Gera Baswani Artist: Alexander Gorlizki

We all have been familiar with the Persian word hashiya. Either one understands it as kinara; kor in Hindi or mainly as a border; margin; frame; edge in English. It could be interpreted as a border of a country; margins of a group of people; frame of a painting or edge of a photograph and so on. The definition of hashiya alters for each and every person in a diverse context. And such was the case with the ten renowned artists including Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, V Ramesh, Manisha Gera Baswani, Alexander Gorlizki, Desmond Lazaro, Ghulam Mohammad, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Saira Wasim and Yasir Waqas who recently participated in the exhibition titled Hashiya: The Margin organized by Anant Art at Bikaner House, illuminating the concept of hashiya in their own idiosyncratic ways.

Dymaxion Map I

Title: Dymaxion Map I Title: Gunjaan II

Artist: Desmond Lazaro Artist: Ghulam Mohammad

Since its inception in painting especially miniature painting traditions, hashiya had a swelling visual growth. From being a protective shield with minimal embellishments to becoming a blank canvas where artists unleash their creativity in conjunction or disparate to the main illustration or text, hashiya has come a long way that it has been treated as a concept for this exhibition. Each Hashiya artist expressed their understanding towards the concept either by drawing from Safavid and Iranian marginal decorations by exquisitely embellishing three circular panels with fancy creatures of fire, water and air; or shifting the attention of the viewer on the borders which although succeeds in demarcating the countries but doesnt stop them sharing cultures; by showing the tendency of human ignorance which pushes the crucial issues towards the margins and so on.

 The Ordinariness of Any Act

Title: The Ordinariness of Any Act: Title: If this is what you mean, I am

Portrait of a Sage certainly without possessions

Artist: V Ramesh Artist: Yasir Waqas

It was not only the matter of borders, margins or frames that flooded through the artworks, but also the miniature traditions of Mughal, Iran, and Persia etc that influenced most of them. There were stencilled arabesque detailing traced from Mughal miniatures but in a contemporary language; or in Jaipur miniaturist traditions as a visual resource. Miniature paintings of the past were also evoked to comment on the current issues that were pushed to the margins.

 Silent Plea

Title: Silent Plea Title: Departure

Artist: Saira Wasim Artist: Nilima Sheikh

The exhibition also became the site for diverse mediums and techniques that aided thoughts of the artist to take desired visual form. Paper cuts, overlapping dictionaries, stencilled decorations, shikshi board etc were some of the appendages.

 Silent Plea

Title: Laud the Three Metamorphoses II Title: Majnun in the Margin

Artist: Nusra Latif Qureshi Artist: Gulammohammed Sheikh

www.anantart.com/hashiya

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