For New York-based, Delhi-born artist Tara Sabharwal, life in lockdown had been marred with a patch of ill health; but after recovery, painting has remained her way to feel and to process her thoughts. To help her to find meaning, structure and sanity.
'Arriving' at drawings of small sinister organisms, menacingly beautiful cellular creatures in armor, with jelly-like frightened interiors, Tara's art makes one hope that the end of the tunnel is near. "Creatures, who, like us, are battling to survive. And we will survive."
The artist is part of #ArtForHope, a digital series by Art Alive Gallery that showcases the artworks that artists are creating during the lockdown, how they are spending time and what they have to say about the times we are living in. The initiative, started by the art gallery's director Sunaina Anand, aims to bring hope and positivity during these unprecedented times.
Some of the participating artists are Anjolie Ela Menon, Paresh Maity, Jogen Chowdhury, Sakti Burman, Maite Delteil, Ranbir Kaleka, Jayshri Burman, Krishan Khanna, Jatin Das, Gopi Gajwani, Debashish Mukherjee, Chandro Bhattacharjee, and Tara Sabharwal.
While veteran artist Krishen Khanna is happy to be home -- "If I was young the lockdown would have affected me. At my age I don't go out, I'm home and I paint in my studio, I enjoy that. I like to spend the day in my studio where I'm always surrounded by my friends on the wall", he says -- artist Anjolie Ela Menon, has converted her living room into her makeshift studio. A place where she once entertained guests and caught up with friends, Anjolie now spends part of her day painting with whatever material she has.
Kolkata-based artist Jogen Chowdhury, whose works document the effect of sociopolitical conditions on mankind in a very sensitive way, is living at present in his home, and his recent drawings depict a fierce fight between the human kind and the virus.
The campaign also takes viewers to Sakti Burman, who usually is back in his studio in Anthe, south of France at this time of the year, but is in India due to lockdown. His time is divided between reading and painting. Often his thoughts are reflective of the life spent between India and France and thinking about his children who are in France. He spends most of his time in his studio painting and hoping for love and peace.
"50+ days of lockdown have changed our whole world. We have in every true sense become 'One World' where our fears, anxiety, aspirations, hope and prayers are the same. Over the last month, in my conversations with our artist friends, one thing that has stood out is the optimism in their thoughts. A hope for a better tomorrow. Art has the power to heal and in these times, only being hopeful will help us tide over this difficult phase," gallerist Sunaina Anand said.
The gallery will continue to add more artist names to the series, which is available to watch on its social media platforms and website.