Stories of Baroda on the Delhi Art Scene
Among the many art schools across the country, a hub known for its rich history of royal art patronage is Vadodara or Baroda of Gujarat. And the contemporary artistic practices of 51 artists from the city are on display in an exhibition called The Baroda March.
In its 15th edition, this annual exhibition dedicated to the art of Vadodara presents more than 130 works, including paintings, sculptures and woodcuts. Lining the walls of the gallery, these weave multiple narratives of historical events, socio-political memories, childhood memories, changing landscapes and Nature.
“Baroda has a beautiful thing that I haven’t witnessed in any other city – artists are very close to each other,” says Krishna, one of the participating artists. He specifies: “These artists meet at the chai ka addas, talk about their working day or their projects. You even see teachers interacting with artists, both inside and outside the university… I have discussions with artists working in my studio, and I also have the privilege of interacting with other artists who let me into their world.
The artist Gulab Kapadiya, who exhibits two watercolors on rice paper on canvas, reveals the inspiration behind his works: “Often, women who work on construction sites nearby, come and stand near my studio. I made an untitled work inspired by these women. I am inspired by small businesses in Gujarat, like that of a barber or a cobbler, their tools and their hand movements. My work, The Cotton Field, is inspired by visuals from the Saurashtra region. His designs feature scenes of life in small towns and villages, in his usual vintage color palette.
Artist Girjesh Kumar Singh presents a realistic sculpture made of bricks and mortar from demolition at construction sites, titled In Transit. “I pick up debris, including bricks and mortar, at these sites. I sculpted a human figure waiting on the dock, and the idea is that they are in transit,” says Singh, for whom the idea of being in transit also extends to life, since each person always travels to a destination, and his choice of medium refers to the idea of household migration.
“The works are unique and full of conceptual vigour,” says curator Rukshaan Krishna. “The stories are very aesthetic and the mediums are innovative. I tried to organize the work of artists in different languages, generations and genres. It has become a definitive showcase of fine art from Baroda,” adds Krishna.
Catch it live
What: Baroda March
Where: The Stainless Gallery, 1 and 2, Block CO, Mathura Road, New Friends Colony
Until: April 3
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nearest metro station: Harkesh Nagar Okhla on the purple line
Author tweets @siddhijainn
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