Chennai: The first thing that pops into my head when I hear about art exhibition is that everything is static. That’s the whole point, right? The paintings on display are explosion of myriad colours and you just stare at them and get lost into a vortex of deeper meaning hiding under the art work.
But that was then and this is now.
When I attended, ‘Chaturvisha Madhuram: Shades of Love’ at the Palladium mall, Velacheri, 14 February, my whole perspective of art exhibition shifted. The show was unique. The event brought together art and dance, both different and brilliant in their own way. Curated and conceptualised by Kathak dancer, Neha Banerjee, the evening was visualised as a tribute to the many ‘facets of love such as desire, devotion and companionship’.
Neha got in touch with Jalpa H Vithalani, creative head and director of Cosmic Heart Gallery based in Mumbai. They believed that they could conjure a beautiful synergy between art and dance, as it was a powerful way to pass messages of love, especially on Valentine’s Day.
Jalpa took over the responsibility to curate the art works. She brought out a series of paintings, ‘Horizon’, a contemporary abstract art by Natasha Lalla which were a treat to look at. Natasha, who has been a part of the art world for the past 12 years, paints with her fingers and doesn’t use a brush. She unleashes a host of universal energies which kind of reflects her spirituality. Her work transports you. When you look at it, you get immersed and engaged.
Jalpa was excited to talk about Natasha’s art work. ‘Natasha works with a plethora of colours and her choice of colours is very strong,’ she says. ‘ Her works are extremely vibrant and they evoke a calming effect. It was a beautiful collection of abstract art. These collections will soon be displayed in Bahrain.’
I also had a chance to look at a painting, ‘Ekam’, by the students of JJ School of Art, considered one of the finest institutes in India. The painting, ‘Ekam’ was of a classical dancer. The art work was stunning: the left part showed the dancer in all her glory while the other part showed different mudras. Jalpa says. ‘At the JJ School of Art, over 3,000 students apply but only 75 get selected across India.’
During the event, I witnessed Nilesh Auti, a very talented artist, paint a digital art work live as a dancer performed a classical composition.The idea was ingenious and creative. The screen was the background for the stage and it was a treat to see the art come alive. While he was working on a laptop, the audience could actually see the art being transformed into a digital painting.
Moving on to the dance segment during the show, Neha put up a wonderful performances with a theme on ‘Lord Krishna’. The performances were fueled by a small group of live musicians. Neha performed ‘Dasyam: A tribute to Meeras devotion’, while Kalashri Lata Surendra delivered, ‘Madhuryam: An ode to Radhas passion’. Dr Sailaja Desai danced for ‘Sakhyam: A portrayal of the relationship between key characters like Sudama, Krishna and Arjuna’, while Indu Kalashetra danced, ‘Vatsalaya: A celebration of the bond between Yashoda and Krishna’. The performances were about the connection of the divine and the dancers showed the different shades of love.
Jalpa is extremely enthusiastic about organising more shows in Chennai, thanks to the positive response she has received so far. For more details, visit: www.cosmicheartgallery.info