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Slice of life

The show at Shrishti Art Gallery features sculptures and paintings by the Patnaik family



Sandhya Patnaik, Ravi Sankar Patnaik and C.S.N. Patnaik. — Photo: K. Ramesh Babu.

IT'S not very often that one gets to see an art exhibition by a family under one roof. The Patnaiks' - C.S.N. Patnaik - (the well-known sculptor) his son Ravi Shankar (also a sculptor) and his daughter-in-law Sandhya's (painter) works are on display at the Shrishti Art Gallery till July 31.

The senior Patnaik's journey in sculpture began decades ago, and he is one of those artists who still works in a traditional medium - bronze. His pieces have a certain rustic look about them - a ruggedness and innocence, which stems from the rural milieu he grew up in. Therefore, the simplicity and natural look manifests from this. "The rural forms are real ones, while in the town they are made up," says Patnaik.

The images - faces and others, speak the bucolic language. In a traditional idiom, the images present a slice of rural life. The artistic expression is quite life-like. It is as though real expressions on the faces are frozen. The patina (created by the artist) enhances the effect of the sculpture. The textural variations on the skin are delineated perfectly in metal. The women in his works exude the native beauty and confidence. The women are replete with traditional ornamentation. For an artist who is almost touching 80, C.S.N. Patnaik brims with enthusiasm and zest to continue the creative process.

`Post-modernist' feel

Ravi Shankar Patnaik too works in bronze - the same medium like his father. But his perception and thought process (being from the next generation) is slightly different. "He was brought up in the countryside while I grew up in urban surroundings," says Ravi. The figurative form also assumes an abstract shape as well. In fact some of the pieces are suggestive of human forms - through the contours. These contours (straight, twisted, serpentine, elongated, conjoined) impart an interesting look. These `figures', drawn from life, have a `post-modernist' feel about them. The mother and child are central to Sandhya Shankar Patnaik's paintings. Being a mother of two young children, the works reflect her emotions and concern. So day-to-day objects like kites, scissors, books, coins recur in her paintings. The watch, a leitmotif, is symbolic of time. The bright colour palette attracts attention towards the painting.

Viewers can see the works at Shrishti Art Gallery till July 30 (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

RADHIKA RAJAMANI

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