Creative Chennai: How Forum Art Gallery has showcased artistic talent for 21 yearsMadanmohan Rao
In Part I of our photo essay on this art gallery, we showcase a diverse range of paintings, installations and multi-media works.
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 245 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Forum Art Gallery in Adyar, Chennai, was founded in 1997 by artist Shalini Biswajit and cartoonist Biswajit Balasubramanian (Shalini joins us in for an interview in Part II of this photo essay). The gallery features a wide variety of paintings, sculptures, photographs, cartoons, ceramics, and digital works by emerging as well as established artists.
Showcased artists include Achuthan Kudallur, Anand Gadapa, BO Shailesh, Bandeep Singh, Chandra Morkonda, Clare Arni, Dakshinamoorthy, Harsha Biswajit, Jacob Jebaraj, Jayaprakash Doma, Praveen Goud, Manish Chavda, Manisha Raju, Murali Cheeroth, Murali Nagapuzha, Neerajaswamy Valimindi, Nirmala Biluka, and Priti Samyukta.
Over the years, the gallery has hosted a number of themed exhibitions such as 1X1 of a Kind, Kalpavriksha, Margazhi Musings, Hand Weaves, Traditional Games, Tribute to Ramanujan, Trending Tweets, Juxtaposing, Altervision, Bovine Tryst, Plethora of Gods, Padme, Nativist Leanings, Metaphysical Edge, Recall, MADrasi, and Cadences.
To celebrate Madras Week 2018, Forum Art Gallery invited artists N.S Manohar and A.Viswam to present Chennai- centric subjects through figuration and abstraction respectively. The topics chosen were, Mylapore, Marina and Traffic, with all three providing a rich visual vocabulary for the artists to interpret in a dualistic dialogue. The dimensions were also set at 1X1, 2X1 and 2X2 feet, as shown in this photo essay.
N.S. Manohar studied art in Kumbakonam and Chennai. His modernist works explore rural animals and human activities, in watercolour, oils, acrylics, ink and charcoal. His shows have been titled Remembering the Past, and Metal on Canvas, and his works have been shown in Malaysia, Singapore, and US.
Award-winning artist A.Viswam also studied arts in Kumbakonam and Chennai, and was the Founder Member of Pallava Artists’ Village and Secretary of Indo-Russian Art Academy. He has participated in shows in Singapore, Malaysia, UK and US. His works reflect the various temperaments of nature, ranging from melody to turbulence, in shows titled Eternal Elements, Space Odyssey, Origin of Species, Elements of Infinity, Originals, Madras Accent, and Coast to Coast.
“Art purifies you, art educates you -- not everything about art can be taught. Art is a way of life,” said Viswam, in a chat with YourStory. He was sensitised to the wonder and power of nature due to his rural upbringing; his father was a farmer. “Life as an artist is a wonderful journey,” he advises aspiring artists.
Now what you have done today to explore the true path that brings out the best in you, and transforms you along the way?
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