Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Threshold Art Gallery brings together works of 20 artists focusing on the beauty and diversity of nature.
Any child who grew up surrounded by nature is a lucky one and to commemorate such beautiful memories, curator Tunty Chauhan is bringing a show to the capital titled, ‘Verdant Memory’. The show highlights the diversity and beauty of nature.
The show has been organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Threshold Art Gallery. Tunty says, “I wanted to share the fragrance of my journey. We were not looking at something very conceptual or a blockbuster, we just wanted to bring something simpler to the gallery on this occasion which is why the exhibition explores flora.”
The exhibition features 20 artists who worked on this theme and have shared a journey with the gallery. A. Ramachandran, Arpita Singh, Atul Dodiya, Anindita Bhattacharya, Chameli Ramachandran, G.R. Iranna, Gargi Raina, Jagannath Panda, Mala Marwah, Manisha Gera Baswani, Manjunath Kamat, Neha Lavingia, Nirmaljit Paintal, Paramjit Singh, Priya Ravish Mehra, Poushali Das, Sebastian Varghese, Seema Kohli, Shanthi Swaroopini Roy V. Ramesh and Wardha Shabbir haved participated in the exhibition.
In this digital age, there is something very refreshing about going back to flora and fauna, Tunty thinks. She says, “The exhibition is about our childhood memories in association with our relationship to plants. People have gotten to making things so conceptual these days that even the senior-most artists enjoy going back to basics and painting flowers.”
She recalls a quote by artist Atul Dodiya, who comments on the art of painting flowers, “The humble flowers teach us how to live without proclaiming or shouting ‘look at me’. Their short life and constant change, leaves a fragrance behind, teaching us how to live. It’s Gods’s greatest gift to us.”
With a soothing feeling to it, the art is definitely a break from the increasing number of conceptual art shows. The simplicity of the show is breaking the growing monotony in this space. Tunty too says that art collectors show interest in such themes as they are ‘very-very refreshing’. The paintings are all in watercolour and in smaller frames. Tunty explains, “Traditionally, such paintings were done in smaller frames as that is how one gets the detailing while painting flora.”
Mala Marwah, who is one of the artists displaying her work at the exhibition, says, “While it is not my primary subject, it is one of my favourite ones. The messages that nature holds for us and the joy that it gives, especially to those of us who live in the cities, is immense. I grew up in the 50s in Calcutta, it was a very green city. But it was not nature with exclusion of humans, there was nature and art, poetry, literature, theatre and music along with it. Bengal has always celebrated it’s countryside and there was great value attributed to nature.”
Ask her if going back to basics and painting flora is in some way therapeutic, she says, “I wouldn’t say therapeutic but it renews your faith. If you have faith in nature, it will show.”
The exhibition is on till March 2, 2018 at Threshold Art Gallery, Sarvodaya Enclave.