Photo Review: Mumbai Gallery weekend and Kala Ghoda Festival
In February 2018, we visited the Mumbai Gallery weekend and Kala Ghoda Festival in Bombay. Space 118, an artist residency hosted 5-6 visual artist to showcase their works during the weekend. Some of the artists were Sarika Poornanand, Manita Singh and Harsheiil Patel. Artist Harsheiil Patel caught my attention with his mixed media approach to explore Hindu deity Lord Shiva. He has used the sacred thread to create an installation with objects used in rituals in Hindu ceremonies to re-think spirituality in India. Colours like deep mustards and saffrons with holy reds made the colour palette for most of his works.
More about Space118, it provides studios and residencies on a short-term basis to artists for creative study and research as part of its commitment to supporting emerging art practitioners from all parts of the country and the world. Situated in South - Central Mumbai, it is within close proximity to the art district in Colaba and the art fraternity at large.
Other Participating Galleries were Chatterjee and Lal, Tarq, Clark house initiative, Sakshi Gallery, Chemould Prescott Road and more.
The Exhibition ' An unquiet mind' was one of my favourites. Artist Youdhisthir Maharjan’s first solo exhibition brought together a body of work that underscores the artist’s meticulous practice that explores the materiality of text. Maharjan does this by using reclaimed text and painstakingly obliterating alphabets and word through arrange of techniques. A result is a sculptural object that is freed from the signifying purpose of words.
Influenced by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Maharjan explores the idea of futility through a painstaking and repetitive process of carving out and erasing words and alphabets from their original, embedded position in the text. What remains is a composition of textures and patterns that turn the flat surface of a page into a dynamic entity. These works of art, with their unique visual language, are intuitively decipherable and bafflingly elusive in equal parts.
Kala Ghoda Festival organised many talks, workshops, gigs and installations in the Fort area. In my opinion, the installations were unable to create an impact on me as the theme Green Khoda could have been interpreted more deeply and artistically whereas most installations had a mechanical, on the surface approach. However, the floating lotuses in Horniman circle were interesting as well as the installation with a collage of letters for people to engage and re-think environmental values. Overall, The curation of the event has a long way to go.