Glimpses of culture


Fresh artistic concepts dominated the International Kala Mela

For the last few days, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts witnessed a celebration of artists with fresh and unique artistic concepts that are in sync with the world. The International Kala  Mela comprised an array of folk dances by Shrinkhala Dance Ensemble, film screening of M F Husain, painting and craft workshops and culture dialogues. It was organised by Lalit Kala Akademi and grabbed the attention of art enthusiasts from across the country.

Manavi Prabha’s environmental artwork stood out for depicting the  woes of deforestation, water crisis and climate change. “I wanted to create something so that people start loving nature again,” she said.

However, artist Ram Krishna’s paintings depicted the complete chaos in a metro city. “My painting represents the time when I first stepped in the city  having no space to live and breathe. These paintings are depiction of the life I was forced to live in that time and what we must do to arrest it”, he added.

Sculptor Kunal Kapoor worked with bare human torsoes. “My sculptures depict souls which have no gender or body. They keep travelling and never die.”

Anjali painted on pages of old books. Sharing her thoughts about the creative process, she explained that this idea appeared when she vaguely drew some strokes on a newspaper but later when she looked back on it, they did not intimidate her whereas the strokes drawn on a plain canvas were quite intimidating. “That was when I decided to play with my creation. And since then I started painting on old pages.”

Artist Raghvendra Rao  displayed his artwork through miniature pottery and installations. Beautiful tiny pots and installations of medicine bottles collected over a period of three years were really striking. His miniature art  pulled in a lot of visitors.

On the tenth day, Kala Mela’s major attraction came in the form of  folk dances presented by Shrinkhala Dance Ensemble. These included Raas Leela (Uttar Pradesh), Bihu (Assam), Lavani (Maharashtra), Karma Madiya (Chhattisgarh) and Jhumur (West Bengal). However, the show also delivered a message of universal brotherhood.

The administrator, Lalit Kala Akademi,  said, “We are trying to provide a stage for all art formats. Our evenings have specially been dedicated to performing art presentations. Not only craftsmen from various states but artists from Asia, Europe and Africa have been invited and are performing at the occasion.”

On the 11th day, the fair was drenched in the flavour of devotion.  Many participants drew inspiration from Lord Shiva and invoked him through their artworks and installations. Artist Anita Dinesh said that she had been working on this concept since the last 14 years. Fellow artist Sonali Kumar exhibited the celebratory mood of Shiva via her paintings, a rarity indeed.

(The fair is being held at IGNCA till February 18)



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