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Engraved expressions

A recent exhibition gave the viewer the privilege of studying not only the prints but also the etched and engraved plates from which the prints had been derived



The Prints created at the workshop bore testimony to the craftsmanship and creative stamina of the printmakers. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P

GALLERY SUMUKHA recently organised a unique workshop on printmaking by inviting some of the well-known names in the field. The week-long event brought to focus the significance of print- making and the techniques and processes involved.

It was a treat to watch the masters as well as upcoming printmakers rolled up under a single roof, exchanging views and ideas as also executing their works.

The result of the workshop was put together in an exhibition at the Gallery that concluded on June 18. The viewer had the privilege of studying not only the prints but also the etched and engraved plates from which the prints have been derived. When spoken to, the participating printmakers explained that one-week was too short a time to create really significant works and print them.

In their own studios and workshops, they took weeks and even months to develop a plate of their choice and discrimination.

As one viewed the exhibition, it becomes clear that the works put on display are neither trivial nor frivolous, even with the obvious constraints of time. On the other hand, the prints bear testimony to the propensity, craftsmanship, and creative stamina of the printmakers, besides demonstrating their unflinching dedication to the art.

Leading the pack are the works of stalwarts such as Jyoti Bhatt, whose print titled Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow has three distinct images — those of a stooping bird, a set of intriguing human faces and a seated woman.

The measured lines and meticulously executed curves heighten the mood and feel of the images, which are placed one above the other. Laxma Goud, another master of the medium, delineates a relaxed rural landscape by incorporating a woman and a couple of goats in the midst of dexterously etched trees, shrubs, and plants.

P.M. Palaniappan's Internal Realities is another notable work that catches the eye, thanks to the compelling texturing and exquisite legerdemain. Similarly, Pinaki Barua delivers a superb full- length profile of a walking man while J.M.S. Mani renders a stark but well-balanced landscape dominated by the trunk of a rugged tree.

V. Nagdas and Hanuman Kambli blend a complex mélange of human forms and situations in their works by radically grading and shading the images. R.B. Bhaskaran's Royal Dinner featuring a stately couple in regal attire, Jai Zarotia's man on a swing, Siddharth Ghosh's Network Search and Yusuf Arakkal's untitled print create absorbing imagery while Rini Dhumal's multicoloured , Jayashri Burman's stylised portrait of a woman astride a swan boat, Ajit Dubey's side-profiled woman rendered in folk art elegance, and Vijay Bagodi's nude woman curiously looking at a dangling snake strive to express a mood of mystery and thrill.

ATHREYA

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