(Left to Right) Shobha Broota, Gayatri Singh and Suryasnata Mohanty
An Art Show in White Showcases More is Possible in Less
8-28 March, 2020 @ Gallery Art Pilgrim Live, 227, South Point Mall, Gurgaon
Just as the corona pandemic struck to change in a few days not just our world but also our worldviews about how much less is actually needed to survive as we remain locked-down to our homes, eminent visual artist and educator Shobha Broota curated an art show to underline the essence of less and the minimum in imagining the world with a single colour or actually with no colours, without missing the wow element though!
Aptly titled WHITE ON WHITE (WOW), the group show at gallery ART PILGRIM LIVE, South Point Mall, Gurgaon showcases the paintings, mixed media and installations of 24 women artists of ORIGIN group, all made in white colour. The show took off from 8 March until the lockdown.
“To demonstrate the beauty of less, the joy of simplicity and the calm of white is not just the idea of this show, but its purpose,” states Shobha Broota. The results are astounding. While Broota herself shows the way in her twin-panel mixed media work using folds of white fine net, Dr. Suryasnata Mohanty has responded to this artistic experiment by painting abstractions of ancient temple structures in sublime shades of white. Standing out amid the wall, the paintings The Last Resort and Beyond the Arch, her acrylic palette knife works on canvas, invite the viewer to a philosophical reflection of the inner spiritual quest and journey, but also offer a subtle yet powerful demonstration of how the everyday visual culture can be reimagined without any colour.
The mixed media work of Anuradha Saluja brings out geometry and abstractions with clay and beads, while Sarla Chandra’s banyan tree is an eye capturing thread and paint work on canvas. Sujata Mehta uses diya baati to create a cactus like ecology, Divyani Kashiva’s playful fishes bring out the cheer of marine life in mixed media. There are intricate patterns and shapes like that of Shiv Shakti in Sarita Chaudhari’s panel and flower motifs in Manisha Agarwal’s embroidered white. An imaginative installation by Shakshi Broota, a spider web in front of a glass mirror, poses a web puzzle to the viewer who looks into.
Monocolour is a challenge for artists as they all grow up with the idea of colours as the essence of art. Suryasnata Mohanty describes it as a ‘mysterious thrill’ to make paintings just out of white. “As it took place, it expanded my horizons of thinking and creating, being able to see all the colours in a single white is really vision-opening,” she explains.
The artists participating in WOW had to learn to slowly eliminate color from their palette in search for white. “This required them to cross many hurdles, to simplify, resist and finally enjoy working with one pure colour. Experimenting, simplifying and playing with light and shade are important while working with white,” Broota says.
Founder of gallery Art Pilgrim Live, Gayatri Singh who has hosted the show feels that WOW is a show of possibilities. “During difficult and complex times this stunning yet quiet show celebrates the purity, simplicity and calmness of white. It hopes to connect with the audience, washing as Picasso said “the dust of daily life off our souls!”, Singh added.