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Artists of great promise

Paintings and collages by two young artists, Oorna Bhattacharya and Meera Ramanathan, are on display at the Lalit Kala Akademi. A review.


`FRAMES OF Mind' is an exhibition of paintings and collages by two young artists, Oorna Bhattacharya and Meera Ramanathan. Having begun their tryst with art on common ground as graduate students in Fine Arts at Stella Maris College, Chennai, their paths however have taken them in different directions, one pursuing a career in advertising, the other in textile merchandising. Taking time in between their working schedules to pursue their creative energies seems to have been worthwhile considering that their works show plenty of promise.

Meera's works on display are collages consisting of brightly coloured paper tessellations creating pixellated effects. Straightforward ideas form the crux of each work executed in a confident style. Design is paramount with off-centre compositions and cut-off angles adding to the interest.

Conversely, there is the feeling that further insight into the basic terms of expression and enhanced exploitation of the medium could have produced more interesting and thought-provoking results. The bold juxtaposition of squares of colour creates illusive effects, generating recognisable structures where none exist. The inspiration for these forms are from one's immediate environment entailing doorknobs, slippers, scissors, clocks, leaves and flowers.


The female figure has prominence in Oorna's paintings, which effectively exploit the immediacy of the acrylic medium. The large elongated eyes are characteristic of her work with bold black delineating the brilliant colours, providing understated strength to her figures. The intensely hued figures are unspeaking yet resilient, possessing inner potency.

In `Journey', a sedentary figure in a red sari sits in a train, vacantly staring ahead unmindful of the flashes of scenery hurtling by. Marked by their solitary existence within an unambiguous space, the feminine forms seemingly subsist on a meagre measure of happiness. Naiveté forms the essence of Oorna's style befitting her rendition of the figurative theme.

However, the varied body of her work on show is rather distracting, and a focus in terms of theme would have helped provide a connecting link among her paintings.

The exhibition showcasing new talent is on at the Lalit Kala Akademi, Greams Road, until July 17.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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