In the heart of New Delhi, Art Alive Gallery, a distinguished contemporary art hub, is set to host an inspiring group exhibition titled "Agradoot: Agents of Change." Curated by the renowned Dr. Alka Pande, this exhibition is a captivating exploration of the transformative role women play in various domains of art, culture, and society. Set to preview on 22 September 2023, the show will be on view till 23 October 2023.
The exhibition features the artistic prowess of 11 exceptional contemporary artists, each a trailblazer in her own right: Madhvi Parekh, Shobha Broota, Jayashree Chakravarty, Arpana Caur, Jayasri Burman, Tara Sabharwal, Pranati Panda, Kanchan Chander, Sharmi Chowdhury, Radhika Surana, and Ayesha Seth Sen. These artists, through their diverse visual languages, embody the essence of "Agradoot" – the messengers of change, particularly the empowering and transformative role women play in our evolving society.
The essence of womanhood, historically and across cultures, has been deeply rooted in nurturing and sustaining the home and the community's core. Yet, societal shifts, particularly the surge of patriarchy in pastoral societies, relegated women to the confines of the kitchen, diminishing their roles and contributions. However, in indigenous societies, a different narrative unfolds—a tale of women walking shoulder to shoulder with men, showcasing true inclusion. Today, as we progress towards a world that increasingly blurs the rigid boundaries of gender, women emerge as Agradoots, pioneers leading the charge in science, art, business, and beyond. No longer confined to societal stereotypes, women, referred to as 'stri,' have become formidable agents of change, innovation, and transformation. Their influence reverberates, steering positive outcomes even in the most daunting of experiments. Notably, women are carving transformative paths in areas critical to our planet, notably ecology and climate change.
In light of these transformative narratives, the exhibition, "Agradoot: Agents of Change," stands as a dedicated exploration of the metamorphic and cathartic roles women play across vital domains of art, culture, and society. A curated ensemble of eleven distinguished artists—Madhvi Parekh, Shobha Broota, Jayashree Chakravarty, Arpana Caur, Jayasri Burman, Tara Sabharwal, Pranati Panda, Kanchan Chander, Sharmi Chowdhury, Radhika Surana, and Ayesha Seth Sen—grace this exhibition. Each artist, a true Agradoot in their right, brings forth a unique visual language that amplifies societal concerns relating to identity, sexual politics, gender dynamics, empowerment, skill mastery, and knowledge systems. These artists, representing various generations and working across diverse mediums, channel their concerns, using their art as the very embodiment of an 'Agradoot,' an agent heralding profound change and progressive transformation. Furthermore, the exhibition is a union of art and purpose, forging partnerships with initiatives like Silaiwali and collaborating with Vidushi Mehra, a theatre artist and actor, whose special performance will inaugurate this impactful showcase.
Madhvi Parekh: A Fantastical Odyssey Through Folklore
Madhvi Parekh, born and raised in the village of Sanjaya, Gujarat, embarked on her artistic journey under the influence of her artist-husband, Manu Parekh. Despite being a late bloomer in the art world, she wove her childhood memories, folk motifs, and mythical creatures into her vibrant tapestry of paintings. Parekh's art resonates with cultural richness and imaginative storytelling, often likened to the works of Paul Klee and Joan Miró.
Shobha Broota: Harmony in Melodies and Colors
A master of diverse artistic mediums, Shobha Broota is a painter with a deep-rooted love for classical Indian music. A trained classical vocalist, Broota weaves her art with a lyrical quality, incorporating elements from woodcuts, etchings, and oil paintings. Her compositions mirror the rhythmic beauty of music, portraying intricate patterns and narratives through various mediums.
Jayashree Chakravarty: A Poet of Nature and Forms
Jayashree Chakravarty's art is a heartfelt ode to nature, seamlessly blending paintings and installations to create a harmonious dialogue with organic materials. With a unique approach, she utilizes organic materials such as grass, leaves, and seeds alongside paper to craft fluid and transparent images. Her work is a marriage of sketches and cave paintings, breathing life into her artistic vision.
Arpana Caur: Capturing Time, Spirituality, and Femininity
Arpana Caur, a self-taught artist deeply inspired by Pahari miniatures and Indian sculptures, delves into spiritual and societal themes through her work. With a profound concern for the condition of women and the escalating violence in the world, she employs her art to reflect on spirituality and the passage of time. Her work is held in esteemed collections worldwide.
Jayasri Burman: Weaving a Mythical Universe
Jayasri Burman's art is an enchanting blend of traditional and contemporary elements, fusing mythical tales with modern themes. Drawing inspiration from Indian folklore and rituals, her paintings are a vibrant portrayal of festivals and traditions, often using diverse mediums like watercolors and pen-and-ink. Her vivid compositions have received international acclaim.
Tara Sabharwal: Crafting Imagined Spaces and Narratives
Tara Sabharwal, a skilled artist with an international footprint, creates subtly layered compositions that blend dreams, memories, and surreal imagery. Using mediums such as watercolor, pastels, ink, collage, and found objects, Sabharwal weaves personal narratives into imagined spaces, inviting viewers into her poetic artistic world.
Pranati Panda: Exploring the Self in Time and Nature
Pranati Panda, a contemporary artist driven by self-analysis and introspection, explores the experience of the self within the context of time and nature. Placing herself at the core of her experiments, she distorts scales and uses individual elements to illustrate the innate rhythms of nature, reflecting her unique philosophies through her art.
Kanchan Chander: Portrait of the Self Through Mixed Media
Kanchan Chander's art is a self-portrait, a portrayal of her inner self using a diverse range of materials. Employing paint, gold leaf, sequins, lace, wood, metal, paper, and more, she crafts autobiographical works, predominantly focusing on torsos and figures. Her use of various media and distinct motifs serves to represent and associate with each other, illustrating the natural rhythms of life.
Sharmi Chowdhury: Kitschy Landscapes and Calligraphic Strokes
Sharmi Chowdhury, with a penchant for storytelling, brings her paintings to life through mixed media such as watercolor on silk and paper, tempera, and oils. Drawing inspiration from India's rich cultural tapestry, her works are inspired by Panchatantra tales, Buddhist Jatakas, and ukiyo-e woodcuts, meticulously composed in theatrical settings.
Radhika Surana: Meditative Embroidery and Layered Fabrics
Radhika Surana's artistic journey involves intricate layers of embroidery, scarification, burning, and overlaying fabrics with precision and patience. Her meditative approach to embroidery mirrors the complexities of human relationships, creating a rhythmic visuality and lyrical quality in her artworks.
Ayesha Seth Sen: Unveiling Personal Stories Through Mixed Media
Ayesha Seth Sen, a mixed media artist, unveils personal stories through her intricate compositions. Using diverse materials like Japanese paper, packaging material, found graphics, holographic paper, and more, she creates layered narratives on canvas, wood, plexiglass, and various other surfaces. Her collages involve collecting, precision cutting, pasting, and experimenting with new materials, portraying deeply personal stories through her art.
These extraordinary artists, come together in the "Agradoot: Agents of Change" exhibition to celebrate the multifaceted roles women play in our society. Their art, ranging from folklore-inspired paintings to abstract installations, stands as a testament to their creativity, resilience, and transformative power.
The "Agradoot: Agents of Change" exhibition is a perfect example of Art Alive Gallery's commitment to promoting engaging interactions between art enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and the artists themselves. Established in 2001, the gallery has been a beacon of contemporary art in India, representing renowned contemporary artists from across the nation and showcasing Indian art on a global stage.
In partnership with Silaiwali, an initiative repurposing waste fabric to empower Afghan women refugees, and with the special performance by theater artist Vidushi Mehra to open the exhibition, Art Alive Gallery extends an invitation to art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in this artistic exploration. The exhibition promises to be a journey into the world of artistic narratives, each imbued with the power and grace of the feminine spirit.
In a world where boundaries blur and gender dynamics evolve, "Agradoot: Agents of Change" celebrates the transformative journey of women in the realm of art and beyond. It's an exhibition that not only showcases remarkable artworks but also encapsulates the stories, struggles, and triumphs of women artists, who have emerged as the true messengers of change in our society.