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A potpourri of talent

Aruna Bhowmick | Kolkata |

Even while some established and somewhat lesser known “renowned” artists launched their shows on the same evening, five bright young artists from a rich potpourri showed at IHC’s Open Palm Court. It was good to see young artists trained at South Delhi Polytechnic fully abreast with students from Bishwabharati and Govt College, Calcutta.

Painters Priyanka Batra, Bhawna Arora and Sanjukta Sinha, teamed up with sculptor Sumita Chandani Rekhi and ceramic professional Somnath Raha, to show here. Priyanka Batra celebrates womanhood/prakriti in all its intricacies, representing tana-bana, or the warps and wefts of life.

With a background of print making, her vocabulary is linear and minute, mounted scroll fashion on fabric, in veneration of prakriti. Imagery represents Lajja Gauri, goddess of reproduction, informed with notions of nine planets and the elements, combined as the life force ensuring continuity. Precision and control over the rhythms and tensions on her picture plane, and courage of conviction mark her as an artist.

Bhawna Arora engages in soul searching and meditation, calling her series Khoj. She focuses her meditative efforts into the Bindu, the focal point of concentration, energising it layer upon layer of geometrically set yellow and red, rejoicing in her perceived discovery, the works radiating positivity.

An MBA, Finance and Investment advisor by initial training, now a trained artist, Sanjukta Sinha’s series in oil, My Own Truth-the Odyssey, is again a process of introspection. Though the visual weight in her hand series feels somewhat overwhelming, lyric and poetry govern her only two blue works ~ making for considerable versatility. One of these two is greatly reminiscent of her guru’s lines, and yet her own.

The art of this investment specialist could indeed be a good investment! Sumita Chandani Rekhi is a sculptor whose works tend to get etched in memory, lingering long after leaving the show. Of particular interest is her penchant for truth to material, retaining the original grains and colours of the stone. Beyond that dwells a slightly wild imagination, needed to conceive an M K Gandhi, broad shouldered and clad in a pair of knee length boots to articulate Gandhi’s quiet strength! He is tall and larger than life, topped by a small head to symbolise the ideology not the man. Potent with imagery, this Gandhi is a modern day missive. Add to this the stone works, lacquered in degrees to retain and enrich the grains, and we have a promising young sculptor to look forward to.

Ceramic artist Sumanta Raha is experimenting yet, trying to develop a material similar to ceramic but more suitable for the kind of massive scaling his heart desires. Taking the farmer and other simple folk as his subjects for now, Somnath’s work has the flavour of rural Bengal aspiring to books, as a road to success, symbolised by little chairs tugging at the musical strings of life. We await the larger works the artist desires.

A special word of thanks to printmakerartist-teacher Anandomoy Banerji for mentoring and motivating these bright young artists to reach for the sky, beginning with a brilliant exhibition at a venue with handsome footfalls.