How the pandemic helped people realise the true values of life – in conversation with Lisa Pingale, Monalisa Kalagram
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 645 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.
Artworks by 60 artists were showcased recently at the exhibition titled Contemporary Signatures. The exhibition was held at the aptly-named Monalisa Kalagram in Pune, founded by mother-daughter duo, Mona and Lisa Pingale.
“The featured artists are a mix of some very big names in contemporary Indian art, the masters, and some younger names with promise,” explains gallery co-founder Lisa Pingale, in a chat with YourStory.
In this photo essay, we feature the works of artists such as Arti Kirloskar (Tropical forest), Asit Patnaik (Affection), Bandana Kumari (I am Queen), HR Das (Love & Affection), Kamar Alam (Believing), and Om Swami (Ganesh).
Other artists include Seema Kohli (Kamdhenu), Shreekanth Kurva (Roosters), Shri Kumar Adhikari (Maharaja, Maharani), Siddharth Shingade (Baraat), Vivek Kumawat (Dancing Nandis), and Sharad Kale.
Looking back at the pandemic, Lisa identifies key lessons artists and audiences have learnt from the crisis. “More than the artists, I think our viewers have undergone a dynamic change,” she observes.
“We have a higher footfall and very good sales. The pandemic seems to have given people time to retrospect and realise the true values of life,” Lisa affirms.
Some of the artworks are priced from Rs 40,000 to Rs 8 lakh. They span a wide range of rural and contemporary themes, in paintings as well as sculptures.
As an art hub, Monalisa Kalagram conducts a number of activities for and by the arts community. “We have organised a varied mix of events in the field of art and culture,” Lisa says.
“We have held large craft bazaars that showcase traditional artisans, as well as contemporary art, sculptures and ceramics," she describes.
The art gallery is located right next to the Pingale Farms in Koregaon Park, with a spacious lawn and trendy cafe. The cottage-like gallery is a popular hub for the creative community.
"We have done music concerts, movie screenings, book readings, and even farmers' markets,” Lisa signs off, with pride.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All exhibition photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the gallery.)
Edited by Megha Reddy