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Cite beauty in mundane things

People always take things for granted and ignore natural beauty. These artists have noticed beauty in mundane things and are presenting them in their artworks.

Sonali Sonam's artwork in miniature-style represents urban landscape without any concrete structures. (Photo courtesy: Exhibit 320 website)

Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. People living in cities often ignore natural beauty in things around them due to their busy lives. Five young artists have come together to remind people to notice beautiful things in mundane surroundings in an art exhibition titled ‘Citing Beauty – Reimagining the Mundane’. The show, taking place at Exhibit 320 in Lado Sarai, New Delhi, displays works of Suryakanta Swain, Sonali Sonam, Khageswar Rout, Nayanjyoti Barman and Pappu Bardhan.

Describing the theme of the exhibition, Rahul Kumar, the curator, says, “It is not about creating beauty but citing it as it exists with things that are not so beautiful like concrete structures and other man-made things. All artists have looked at their respective environments, whether urban or where they grew up, and have sieved through them and found beauty.”

The artists have used simple ideas and connected them with traditional techniques. For instance, Swain has taken inspiration from the ideas of co-existing and diverse cultures of hyperactive city lives.

Suryakanta Swain's artwork titled 'Silent landscape'.

His works showcase rubbles, rocks and pieces of cement and concrete. He has shown detailed and delicate lines in rocks to familiarise their natural beautify. These lines are represented through the traditional weaving technique that pertains to his village. He has added embellishment to his mundane looking rocks and their shadows.

Sonam’s artworks in miniature-style represent urban landscape without any concrete structures, such as buildings and roads, as well as other man-made things. She has tried to capture the attention of visitors towards natural beauty.

Bardhan has depicted nuisances from his past in his artworks. The artist has considered large images of jackfruits and papayas as enclosed forms just like a protective womb. The artist has taken references from the rural area where he grew up and has portrayed its natural beauty on paper.

Kumar describes Bardhan’s artwork as organic and detailed. “The human figures in his work depict scenes of Mumbai local and Delhi Metro primetime scene. What’s funny is that we call Mumbai local and Metro as lifelines. But forests are our true lifelines, which we are destroying to build rail tracks. So, there is an irony, as one lifeline (train tracks) is killing another (trees and plants),” he adds.

Similarly, Barman’s works also relate to his past. The Bengal-based artist has made a composition of a collapsed building out of discarded cardboards (used as packaging material) and jute. He has added white paper to depict doors and windows of the building. This technique has been lifted from the way pandals are decorated for Durga Puja and evokes nostalgia.

Rout's sculpture in terracotta represents the inside of a vegetable or a fruit. The artist has used vegetation and vegetable forms to create structures. He also referred to science and geometry and studied them to recreate these pieces in an abstract way.

The show is open to public till 16 October from 11 am to 6:30 pm.

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