By exploring various techniques, be it paper pulp on canvas or oil on canvas, this exhibition comments on the idea of ‘connections’.
Apart from stirring their emotions, art has many other effects on people. It connects them to the subject matter — say, a scene depicting a musical performance — and also evokes certain feelings that imply a connection with oneself.
Kirti Chandak recently presented her artwork under the banner of ‘Connect’ at the India International Centre. Her mediums included paper pulp, oil on canvas, watercolours on paper, and even mixed-media installation art.
The curiosity cat wonders, why did she call her exhibition that? The artist explained, “Art connects us to nature, our inner self, and also back to our inner roots.’’ As many artists are inspired from nature, Kirti’s journey is no different but it definitely entails a more dynamic approach. She detailed, “Nature is so innovative, creative and varied. So, if you are connected to nature, it is natural because there is nothing similar or identical there.’’
Her work uses the paper pulp technique in which the pulp is made out of white t-shirt and banian rags that are then cut into small shreds and beaten for about 10 hours. But this technique presents a unique challenge. Kirti explained, “It is very playful and the challenge is how you can mould it to get the desired effect, and present it so that it lasts since this is a very delicate medium.” But with experience, she has gained a grip. She continued, “Over a period of time, I have understood how to handle watercolour on cloth and paper. I know how to go about it.”
But it wasn't the technique that did the talking as it was her centrepiece titled Against the Tide that stole the show. She details, “It is an analogy about how we are constantly running against time. So I have painted the fish (represented as humans) that are running with the tide while there are only a few that are running against it.” Her other painting that came under the spotlight was a watercolour on canvas titled Praying Without End. Kirti described it saying, “ It was inspired by the feeling that life is about constant aspiration and prayer and there is no ending to our prayers.”
Her work offered a feeling of calmness and tranquillity and one could say that it was due to the colours used. She concluded, “My work is very peace-giving and that is what I am searching for as well. The materials, subtle white on white, and the monochrome effect add to the softness of it.”