Palette of Sounds
Walking through the labyrinthe lanes of Hauz Khas Village, you reach a seemingly nondescript corner to Art Explore Gallery. Here, an artist is busy painting a woman with 10 heads. "Instead of Ravan's 10 heads, I feel a woman has 10 heads," says painter Rajesh Srivastava. The work is part of the ongoing exhibition at the gallery titled Visual Aural. Alongwith Srivastava, the exhibition is showcasing line drawings and video art by artist Abhijit Pathak. For Pathak and Srivastava, beauty lies in sounds and sights. Their canvasses tell a story of all they've seen and heard over the years- from the sounds of Chandni Chowk to the din of souq's of the Middle East. Overlooking the serene lake at Deer Park, the gallery serves as the ideal space for the artists to take guests on a visual and aural journey through their artworks, both very different from each other.
Known for large mixed media works, Pathak uses different materials, experimenting with varied techniques, defying the convention and developing his own style. Hailing from a small town in Bihar, the artist, who is deeply influenced by Varanasi feels sounds always inspired him because he's been professionally trained in music. He says, "Varanasi played an important role in developing the impressions I carry today. Music and the sounds of my surroundings have been a major influence in my creative process, perceiving, balancing the chaotic and the serene. Delhi brought me in contact with a city of 18 million people, a vast urban sprawl bereft of nature. It was deeply disturbing, but it also forced me to radically alter the way I perceived reality around me. Adding sound as a new dimension to my artwork was a natural progression." The artist's line drawing exhibited at the show portray his experiences in Chandni Chowk and Varanasi. "Line drawings form the basic existing character of any art form," he says.
Srivastava's forte is portraiture, figurative, semi-figurative art and he has a keen sense of observation and subtle messaging in his artworks. He has borrowed extensively from his experience of two decades. "I have travelled extensively in the Middle East. I trace my own ancestry to the area and the Kurdish Region there. You can see the influences in my works. For me, the interpretation is more cultural than religious. Akin to the struggles of the Kurdish people, which I identify with. The treatment of women and the lives they lead in the Middle East is another key theme that I explore. The works I create will always have a sociopolitical message. I am interested in exploring the relationship between art, culture and politics further. Adding sound to what I create makes the experience more real and the imagination more vivid for the viewer."
Curator Vikram Singh, says, "We often talk about various inspirations in life but are never able to portray them like this. Sound is such an important part of life and these artists have potrayed sounds in their own unique ways."