The works of three young artists have been brought together at Art Exposure in the form of ‘Memory Leaves’ that examines both metaphors and the moods of these artists in their practices and journeys. While Radhika Agarwala and Viraag Desai use sculptures as their preferred language of expression, Rid Burman uses photography (and the back-end processes of making them) as his. Despite all three showcasing their work together, tied by a part of their experiences that are united by a common theme, their individual practices are distinct in the way of their treatment of form and metaphor.
“Being trained as a painter and over the years creating sculptures, I enjoy negotiating form, metaphor and medium into a multidisciplinary experimental approach. I have a fused methodology to my practice, incorporating my sensibility as a painter to bring to life the sculptures that I’m creating. The works I make are metaphors to the world I see around me, and its evolution — both natural and man-made,” explained Radhika. She re-imagines natural specimens that she stumbles across to reflect on the world. “The movement from organic to inorganic, scarcity to abundance and back to scarcity, are some of the themes that I explore in my practice,” added Radhika.
For Rid, nature acts as an inspiration as well as metaphor as he plays with his preferred medium of light. “Medium is easy. I am a photographer so everything I have to do is about the light and that’s my medium. Throughout my childhood, I have been brought up with celebration around. The pujas at home to my parents celebrating a show to visiting temples, museums — I think my form is an amalgamation of these memories. My metaphor is the fact that I love nature and I want us, as a race, to pause and understand what our dialogues should be with nature,” said Rid (short for Riddhibrata, who is the son of Jayasri Burman and Paresh Maity; and is a well-known photographer himself).
Viraag, on the other hand, continues in his space of practice where art meets technology as he focuses on form. “By stripping away colour and surface texture, I am creating a sharper focus on my explorations into digitally-generated geometry. The use of figures and organic forms give a contemporary social context to objects that might otherwise seem like abstractions,” he explained.
So what inspires their process of making art? “Abandoned, overgrown and untamed environments inspire me. Natural chaos is beautiful, but with increasing urbanisation, we are progressively losing our natural environment to cement and steel. The re-emergence of nature amidst this concrete jungle, the interaction between such disparate worlds and the future state of flora motivate me to make art,” said Radhika. For Rid, it is what he sees every day — “Sunrise, beautiful waves and beautiful places for creating beautiful memories… all of it inspires me.” For Viraag, it is a novelty of process that holds interest for him as he said, “I am constantly on the lookout for visuals and processes that are unique. A fresh approach to the same theme can breathe new life into the most stale of subjects. Working with complex algorithms alongside an extremely controlled process of making can lead to some unexpected, visually stimulating results.”
Curated by Uma Nair, the exhibition also takes into account the fact that all the three artists have studied abroad and therefore, uses that as a common thread in how that might have affected their perspectives on things. And speaking about the name of the exhibition, Somak Mitra, director, Art Exposure, said, “‘Memory Leaves’ is an apt title for the leftover or remnant that is imprinted in the individual memories of the three talented artists, which the audiences catch a glimpse of. It is much like leafing through the pages of their amassed experiences and learnt techniques that manifest in their art forms in the exhibition.”
‘Memory Leaves’ is on till June 30 at Art Exposure (across both their spaces at 54 B Mahanirban Road and 17A Mahanirban Road).
Pictures: Courtesy of gallery