If you were there, you will agree that the 10-day sculpture camp at the L V Prasad
Eye Institute, coordinated by theatrist-in-residence Surya Prakash and involving
8 artists from different regions of the country, has supplemented the already
existing ambience of art and aesthetics at this prestigious science center.
It may sound a bit repetitive, but I feel it essential to congratulate Prakash
once again for introducing artists to Hyderabad from various other parts of the
country, like Bhopal, Pune, Vizag and Calcutta this time. Of course, Srinivas
Reddy and Shyam Sunder from Hyderabad and Rajshekharan Nair from Cholamandalam,
Chennai, are familiar names, but the others like Hari Prasad (Vizag), David Robin
(Bhopal), Gopal Prasad Mandal (Calcutta), Dinkar Thopate (Pune) and Roy Chowdhary
(Calcutta) are fairly new to Hyderabad. Only Hari Prasad wasn't new, since he
was part of a group show held recently at the Lakshana Art Gallery.
Be the artists known or newfound, the event itself was another occasion for the
art conscious in Hyderabad to congregate at a common platform. Watching the work
in progress, the interaction with artists, the ensuing discussions, the professional
alliances and, most importantly, the promise of a new future, revitalized the
city's art circuit.
Expositions and press reviews aside, camps are affairs that not only provide an
insight into the work of an artist due to his/her presence, but are also a way
of assisting everybody involved in crystallizing issues of all hues and shades
and arriving at a creative solution. So, was such a thing was tackled at the camp?
Gopal Prasad Mandal's "Anguished Buddha" was a direct reference to the Bamyian
demolition. Chiseled six feet and higher, this weeping Buddha is symbolic of the
insensitivity that pervades the human bosom. The intolerance, bigotry and destruction
of heritage carved by Mandal tackles very contemporary subject which chronicles
merely a reference in time. But the question of whether humanity can ever be purged
of such narrowness remains to be answered.
Although Mandal responds to a very profound matter related to mankind, his skill
and presentation fail to evoke any sympathies. But as far as the rest of the artists
were concerned, the chipping headed towards a regular line of work. Chowdhary's
models of birds in white marble and Thopte's "Mother and Child" in the same medium
were pleasant works that again failed to stir much in the audience.
The gigantic three-piece work of Nair in soft stone attracted the attention of
the people, but its appropriate installation subtracted its due appreciation.
This work, somehow, could not produce the binary texturing generally worked out
by this artist. In fact the conceptual executions he displayed via his slide show
eclipsed this particular work.
Like Nair, Robin David works in large volumes. His textured two-piece sculpture,
in square forms with a semicircular cutout in the center, explains his sheer joy
in rendering simple constitutes. A flowing solidity, in fact, belies the original
character of any stone that he starts to work upon. The perched eye cannot miss
the poetry chiseled out of rock.
As far as Srinivas Reddy and Shyam Sunder are concerned, both seem to follow the
column arrangement. Reddy chipped on his personal vocabulary of fantasy play,
whereas Shyam Sunder evolved his idiosyncratic heads followed by simple texturing.
Hari Prasad, a confident traditionalist, is on his way with a peculiar sense of
conceptual execution. A revelation in Hyderabad, Prasad appears to be an emblazon
of our future. Though good, he could not justify his metier during this camp.
His mural like sculpture did offer much to gage his otherwise creative compositions.
The body of work collected during this camp will once again vouch the institute's
commitment to art. The camp itself concluded with a slide show projecting 10 slides
each of the participating artists. And though the camp is over, the products will
be on display till the 20th. Please contact Surya Prakash at 374-7049, 374-0424
for further details.
The participating artists: Srinivas Reddy, Shyam Sunder, David Robin, Gopal Prasad
Mandal, Dinkar Thopate, Rajshekharan Nair, Roy Chowdhary and Hari Prasad