The works of Frits Kraay, Olga Okuneva and Akhilesh Verma are dissimilar in style but use the common concept of poetry
A TALE of artistic voyages being told and retold, with impromptu modifications being made along the way, is the exhibition "Samyatra" meaning `travelling together'. The statistics of this show inform of two months, three artists, three countries and four places. This needs to be interpreted as occurring from mid-December to mid-February, featuring the works of Frits Kraay, Olga Okuneva and Akhilesh Verma travelling to the Netherlands, Russia and India, specifically Kochi, Chennai, Bhopal and Delhi. Always on the lookout for a dialogue with other artists, they are at present visiting the Cholamandal Artists' Village.
The relationship among the artists has been forged by the commonality of their love for art and its creative energies and goes back more than a decade. In preparation for the journey ahead of this exhibition, the three artists began working on the common concept of poetry, using the thread of literature to bind their works together.
Where Okuneva has illustrated translations of Tamil poetry into Russian, Akhilesh has employed the scriptogram in his paintings and Kraay incorporates self-authored verses into his abstract works. Each of the artists' works is in an entirely dissimilar style being figurative, symbolic or abstract.
The artists concede the need for their `yatra' referring to the `limited influences and interests in one's own culture.
Every artist has different reasons and influences and is constantly looking for new vibrations.'
Kraay verbalises on the ever-changing nature of art. "When art is established in a place, it falls apart and finds a new place" to be reborn and grow with a fresh impetus. He cites the analogies of masters Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso having sought influences outside of European art in Japanese prints, Moroccan culture and African sculpture respectively and the dissolution of the heart of the art world from avant-garde Paris.
Okuneva and Kraay acknowledge the changes in their works since their introduction to the vibrancy of India a few years ago.
Okuneva feels that "this incredible country cleanses the eyes and consents to the use of very bright colours, as opposed to dark and sombre heavily loaded paint."
The works on display vary at each destination, as new paintings incorporating recent experiences are created to inhabit the spaces produced by works sold, articulating further the concept of the journey being made by these three artists.
The exhibition of paintings, prints and gouaches is on until January 15, at the Apparao Galleries, Wallace Gardens Third Street, Nungambakkam.
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