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Tales of Two Cities Art Exhibition

In Nation
February 27, 2019

Six artists from two cities, the bustling metropolis of Ahmedabad and the small but dynamic state of Goa, from diverse cultural backgrounds, with different means, and ways of expression come together in a multi-threaded exhibition at The Project Cafe Goa, in Assagao, from March 1 until April 15.

The universal language of art threads overt differences into a unifying common understanding of the human experience. The flow of people into these cities; its ever-changing landscape generating and regenerating to evolve new ideas and ways of expressing them have germinated this show.

Curated by Kirti Parihar from Ahmedabad and Samira Sheth from Goa, ‘Tales of Two Cities’ brings these six artists together. They employ their tools of watercolour, oil, colour pencil, thread and even newsprint to tell their stories.

Even though they seem to be disparate stories, one realizes that everything is indeed connected –– somehow all these visuals coalesce to bring very different tales from two very different places to life.

About the Artists:

Alpesh J Dave, Ahmedabad
As part of an ongoing series on art makers and creators, Alpesh pays tribute to iconic artists René Magritte, Salvador Dali and Jackson Pollock, all known to challenge observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. He deftly uses thread to experiment with perception himself in a tiny work in which the protagonist sees the world underwater. In another, he plays with light and colour through thread, leaving multiple threads hanging to hint at the constantly evolving and therefore unfinished state of an artist’s ideas.

Liesl Cotta De Souza, Goa
Textile artist Liesl Cotta De Souza is best known for her paintings in thread where she honours a traditional technique in a contemporary idiom of her own. She takes on the task of painting women as they go about their work and play through embroidery. Layered in colour, perspective and emotion, these are everyday stories of struggle and pleasure told through thread, painted in repetitive and meditative stitches.

Manish Modi, Ahmedabad
Born to a family of newspaper merchants, Manish is both familiar with and inspired by the power of the print media and its workings. He takes newsprint as background to explore imagery that is both pleasing and provocative in turn, addressing contemporary issues such as politics, the misuse of power, freedom of speech and more while leaving the viewer with a sense of nostalgia; as these types of media are superseded by newer media, his work acts as a reminder of times gone by.

Purvi Parmar, Ahmedabad
Animals offer a potent visual representation of ideas, carrying forward a long and rich history of animal symbolism in western art. Ideas of the diversity of nature and the importance of preserving it also come to mind as animals loom large in Purvi Parmar’s paintings. The young artist creates space for her ‘self’ in imagined worlds she can escape to atop the bustling cityscape of Ahmedabad. She images sheep, a couple of slender deer and a peacock in full form as central figures in these fantastical universes created entirely by her.

Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal, Goa
Humanity and nature, nature and God, God and humanity – all in vital inter-relationships as guardians and custodians of each other. Strongly rooted in Goa, Sonia invokes the spirit of its deities Shree Shantadurga and Shri Ramnath for succor even as she references an important event in Goa’s history.

The taluka of Salcete, along with those of Tiswadi (Panaji) and Bardez (Mapusa) was part of the Portuguese old conquests of Goa in 1543 CE. Subsequently, when the Portuguese started proselytizing Salcete, it was accompanied by demolition of its ancient heritage including temples. Many devotees fled the region and some even managed to rescue their deity’s idols. Most notably among those rescued were the idols of Shri Ramnath from his temple in Loutolim and that of Goddess Shantadurga from her temple in Cuncolim.

Laila Vaziralli, Goa
This body of work is inspired by the longing for coexistence between humans and our environment. The playful, surreal watercolours draw from Goa’s beautiful monsoon, that makes everything come alive both within its inhabitants and in its surroundings. In some pieces, the human body is seen as a surreal extension of plants, flowers, and the universe.