THE “LANDS WITHIN” EXHIBITION: AN INTERVIEW WITH AMRITA VARMA & TAVLEEN AKOI, THE EGG ART STUDIO

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1. Give us a brief insight into the upcoming exhibition “Lands Within” at The Egg Art Studio.

Amrita: Lands Within is an exploration into the expression of the artists worldview of the various landscapes one sees or experiences where the artist is an active co creator in bringing out the spirit of the land and its people through the strokes of his brush.

" The works are the depiction of the way we feel or sense the world around us not just the way the world is."

This exhibition is a whimsical look at the beauty and poetry of various regions of this country along with experiences of some interesting places in the world and ways of life from artists living in India. These may be actual landscapes, mindscapes or abstract works that are bursting with flavor of the smell, look and lay of the land and its people wherever it may be within the creative eye or outside.

2. Do take us through the process of how you selected the works for this particular exhibition and what is the defining link between every artist’s work that was chosen to be featured?

Amrita: Like I said, each piece is a depiction of our connection with the land we live in or explore and the way we feel or sense the world around us. To me, this was the rough draft of how I was going to create this exhibit.

" The idea was to see landscapes for their ability to inspire us and also to be able to see the beauty of life around it whether it was in our mind or outside. "

This body of work has not been taken seriously enough and it was time to evaluate it and bring it out in all its glory and dynamism. With this curatorial rough draft in my mind I started observing and looking for the best emerging landscape artists we could find to build this exhibit on. As you know, it’s a constant process of observing and then evaluating each work for its artistic credibility and relevance and then its commercial evaluation of a fair price for the viewer. If these works can bring out the essence of the space they express, they have made the mark.

" Lets not forget landscapes bring out the root of where people come from and for the sheer joy of it this particular exhibit begged to be aired. "

There is a sense of relaxation to it and they have inspired all from the most naive to the most complex cultured mind. With the Monsoon showers rejuvenating the earth here in India it was the best time to bring this exploration out! 

3. Amrita, what are your opinions on landscape painting as a genre ?  

Amrita: I have been a fan! My early ramblings with images of works by John Constable and the Impressionists, and then Dali pulled me like a moth to the fire. My journey started there as I have romanced my days painting while in school and after.

" So its as much a personal delight as it is a professional conviction to grow this genre which hasn't been explored enough and needs to be seen in the contemporary art world in India with the same seriousness as other genres because if we don’t, we are skipping out a major chunk of relevant art in this country."

4.   Tavleen why do you say, “to find landscapes that are exceptional is tough these days”? Is this is a result of the genre of landscape being slightly neglected over the past years ? 

Tavleen: There are and have always been wonderful landscape artists in this country and people who know them, get work directly because galleries aren't interested in showing them.

" Landscapes are the easiest to relate with and touch your heart the fastest since the dawn of art.“


5. Do you see emerging Indian artists having an advantage point over international artists when it comes to landscape ?

Amrita: Yes, in certain areas like technical skill with watercolor and the variety of subjects available for the Indian artist to explore. This country has always been a country where one sees different lays of the land, colorful costumes and people, the close connection of man and nature on the wilder side (not trimmed and pruned to perfection), daily life and its small pleasures in a rustic land, the organized chaos of semi urban set ups; this allows for a more vibrant range of expressions from the Indian artist naturally. Having said that, I would think if international artists explore this country they would get that advantage as well.

6. Will this be a first exhibition for any of your emerging artists? How old are they and what can we expect to see from them during “Lands Within”?

Amrita: Their age range is from the early 20's to the 40's.

 

7. Amrita & Tavleen, are there any works that have held more resonance personally for you in this upcoming show ?  

Amrita & Tavleen: It's difficult because every work in this exhibit seems to have this beautiful lyrical energy to it which you just flow with and can’t really help it…There are the deeply meditative works by Umika Mediratta, the architectural mindscapes by Saurabh Narang, the exploration of the reflection between ones emotional state and the environment in Anuradha Sarin Khrana's works, the delving into the depths through abstract photography with Sarika Dandona etc. Lets not forget our four credible landscape artists; Kishore Pratim Biswas shows the raw glory of the life of the workers of the steam engine, an iconic symbol of India for most. Shiffali Dhawan is a true discovery in that her photorealistic landscapes are a joy to live with in all their technical merit and bring out the true spirit of life and land. There is Bijay Biswal, a ticket examiner in the railways who is a serious watercolor artist with his beautiful renditions on rural India and the Indian railways. And last but not the least, Masood Hussain with his delicate watercolors brings out Kashmir in all its beauty and splendour. Each artist in this show does credit to the genre and we are very excited about bringing their work to life at The Egg Art Studio.

8. What do you hope viewers will get out of the exhibition after seeing it ?

Tavleen & Amrita: This is one exhibition where the person is naturally bold and not intimidated to really get involved with the art before picking it up. The beauty in these works is that they are from across this country and cater to every palette thereby allowing us to initiate our guests to a collector’s walkthrough so as to build them as their own advisors. There is joy and an adventure in securing a work that is strong and also something you love.

The Egg Art Studio
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