Often, the conventional and theoretical understanding of art restricts its existence only to a canvas, thereby guarding it’s element of exclusivity. However, in the course of its evolution, the marriage of art with craft has offered a substantial escape from the conventionalities, thereby making it exclusive, yet useful. As Alka Kalra, a city-based artist exhibits her art collection at AK Studio, 3B2, Mohali, one is reminded of the arty handicrafts that voice the language of art, only in a more playful, innovative and utility-based way. Known for painting the Dhaba series on canvas, which have been exhibited at several art galleries across the city, including Punjab Kala Bhawan and Fine Arts Museum, Panjab University, this time, Alka has taken a liking for the Buddha, which she painted on pashmina, and silk instead of canvas. Showcasing an exclusive variety of arty apparel collection, including stoles and suits, we talk to her about this new endeavour.
“Most of the time, people look at art in the form of canvas and only those, who know how to paint, may paint several items around them, including clothes, to give it an arty touch,” begins Alka while elaborating a reason for organising an exhibition. “I thought of organising an exhibition where people could associate art with utility, for instance a stole to wear or a mirror on the wall with wood work and paint,” she says. As one takes a look around the studio that showcases several mart items, including huge pots that can be used as the lobby tables and decoration items like wall hanging masks, wall mirrors and hand painted suits and stoles too.
“Well, the idea of painting earthen pots was almost incidental, but the wall mirrors was a more contemplated move. I wanted the mirrors to look like a painting, with mirrors only looking like the utility item,” she says. Made with wood cut and plastered with m-seal, which is painted with fibre paints, the mirrors look like the traditional Rajasthani paintings. Also, the stoles, including the ones in silk and in pashmina, have been painted with beautiful African tribal motifs, block prints and warli.
Also, the best part about the exhibition is the pricing. While the stoles are priced from Rs 500 onwards, the mirrors start at Rs 2500.
(On till December 6)
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