Exhibition celebrates water through art, photographs, poems

The exhibition will see paintings, photographs, poems and videos by artists Aparajithan Adimoolam, Bhavani GS and Parvathi Nayar.
Lost and Found work by Parvathi
Lost and Found work by Parvathi

CHENNAI: As part of the waterfest seminar at DakshinaChitra, an exhibition titled Water In Images has been organised. The exhibition will see paintings, photographs, poems and videos by artists Aparajithan Adimoolam, Bhavani GS and Parvathi Nayar.

Sea is the backdrop of Aparajithan’s paintings — he uses landscape to set the context of the painting. “Evolution is centered around water. The human experience is shaped by the sea, our desires, hope, and despair are formed by encounters with the sea. Being from Chennai, I have always lived near the sea and the physical presence of a vast body of water has both physiological and psychological effects on me. For this exhibition, I have categorised my paintings as — akam and puram. I have around 10 watercolour works for akam, the interior world of feeling and abstraction.

One of the works I will be presenting for the concept of puram is called ‘Flight into Egypt’. It is a famous iconography in western art, the painting talks about refugees and their difficult often tragic travel across the sea. The second painting is called ‘Existential Disquiet’, it is about civilizations long gone by, its imprints on time remain only as a few potteries. The third painting is about war and the death of innocents,” says Aparajithan Adimoolam.

Artist Parvathi feels special to be part of the water festival because the subject of water is a through-thread in her artmaking. “The vocabulary of water works as both literal and metaphorical pointers in my work. I believe water is a liquid lens that can bring into focus urban memory, the zeitgeist of the times in which we live, and also more utopian possibilities. The works in the show deal with multiple aspects of water from its position as a threatened and limited resource, to its role in earth’s interconnected ecosystems, to being a substance of deep spiritual essence.

“One of the key works is lost and found inspired by the process of rehabilitation after the Kerala floods and features imagery from Devakoottu, the only theyyam performance artform that is performed by women. This artwork has a companion video with a soundtrack alapana sung by Vidushi Sangeetha Shivkumar that will also be projected at the show. The exhibition also features my photo poetry works about water and signature pieces — detailed black-and-white graphite drawings — that explore water’s physical and invisible worlds,” she says.

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