ART EXHIBITION "No Number, No Name" solo art show by Singapore based, Indo-British artist Kavita Issar Batra > 28th March to 6th April 2019

Venue : Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre (IHC), Lodhi Road
Artworks Kavita Issar Batra
Artworks by Kavita Issar Batra 
Time : 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Add to Calendar 28/03/2019 10:00 06/04/2019 20:00 Asia/Kolkata ART EXHIBITION "No Number, No Name" solo art show by Singapore based, Indo-British artist Kavita Issar Batra Event Page : Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre (IHC), Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003 DD/MM/YYYY - Exhibition on View

Entry : Free

Venue : Visual Arts Gallery
India Habitat Centre (IHC), Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003
Parking : Gate No. 1, 2 & 3 (Cars), Gate No. 2 (Bikes & Bicycles)
Venue Info : Events | About | Map | Nearest Metro Stations :
'Jor Bagh(Yellow Line)Exit Gate-1' - Walk Direction
'Khan Market(Violet Line)'
Area : Lodhi Road Area Events

Event Description : ART EXHIBITION "No Number, No Name" solo art show by Singapore based, Indo-British artist Kavita Issar Batra.

An exhibition of paintings, photographs, video and installations - that trains its lens on society through the natural, organic materials that ‘litter’ our streets and pavements.

The show is Issar-Batra's first solo in India curated by art historian and curator Dr Alka Pande. A greater portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will go to Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group.

Says Issar-Batra, “The dismissive attitude to the organic and urban detritus is replicated in how we treat the nameless, numberless multitudes of people living and dying on the margins of our society.  Countless people are collateral to wars, terrorism, despair, famine, drought and other natural disasters.  Other than their loved ones and perhaps appearing in statistics in news, most remain an abstract soon forgotten. In our growing population tsunami, many are swept along by the chaos around them deprived of a sense of self or belonging. In the rush of contemporary urban life, we forget to pause or look beyond maintaining our comfortable lives. We swirl like leaves caught up in capricious winds rather than stepping back to respond in considered, thoughtful ways.” 

Issar-Batra is drawn to the natural, organic materials that ‘litter’ our streets and pavements. They lurk in the shadows quietly accepting all that comes their way – being trampled on or driven over,  subject to the vagaries of the weather which all determine their fate – whether they crumble to dust on hot dry days or slowly disintegrate into the wetness merging with the surface they find themselves on.  Either way, returning to the earth, nutrients to the soil. Detached from their parent plant, these nameless flowers, leaves, seedpods, twigs, pieces of bark etc. are dying, that process may take a long or short time. For us humans too, from the time we exit our mother’s womb, the only certainty is that we will die. Again, none of us know how long what we call ‘life’ will last. We too are changing from infants to children to adulthood and then old age. Society today seems obsessed with erasing changes that are regarded as imperfections or signs of aging, to fit with idealised notions of what is beautiful. Nature points to the peace that comes with ‘acceptance’ and celebration of these changes and their impermanence. Her work gives a voice to the discarded and ignored, finding beauty and meaning in it.

Issar-Batra’s art practice is based on the philosophy of serendipity. The greatest, most unexpected yet constant teacher and muse on her art journey have been the roads/pavements and their transitory inhabitants of her immediate surroundings wherever she is. For over six years they have pulled her gaze downwards and continue to be a daily journey of discovery and expression.

“They have taught me about texture, shape, colour, value, tone, composition, botany, philosophy and a rhythm to life. It has become an alphabet to my thoughts and emotions as well as inspiration for my paintings.  I document the ‘moment’ our paths intersect photographing with my iPhone camera to be able to respond spontaneously. Sharing these through Instagram and facebook is about building community. Most images are taken ‘as found’; some a montage of the detritus that I might pick up (nothing is plucked or altered) placed on a painting in progress and then photographed. I do not photoshop as each is beautiful just as they are.”

Adds Dr Alka Pande, curator: “From a spider spiralling up towards the sky, to leaves burnt from the heat of the bright sun, to dried twigs and flowers strewn on her walking routes are all captured by Kavita’s constant companion - the I phone. The photographs are re-looked and re-imagined as visual treats on canvas and paper bringing alive a rare vibrancy. No number No Name is Kavita’s engagement with her immediate environment and a thoughtful, quiet introspection where the outward eye softly nestles within her innerscapes and teases out silhouettes of people sans names, without numbers. The deep engagement with ‘detritus’ fuelled Kavita to engage with Chintan, the Delhi based NGO which supports and nurtures the waste collectors.  And it was a seamless unspoken connection which brought about the collaboration, moving Kavita to donate 60 per cent of the sale proceeds from her exhibition for the healthier life span of Chintan.”

Issar-Batra works on small A 4 size to the largest painting so far being over 16 feet long (in a collector’s private collection in Dubai). She uses different substrates, plywood, canvas and high quality acid free paper, each allows for varying outcomes.   Her painting is process-led, she uses very little brush and responds intuitively in the making so she rarely has an outcome in mind before she starts. Like in nature, there is little control over the outcome of the process, the possibilities are endless, making each artwork absolutely unique. It also evokes the elements (sun, wind, rain, earth and air) that capriciously play with us, as humans, and with the detritus that inspires her. At the end, the works encourage viewers to connect at many levels and interpret as they wish. 

Says Issar-Batra about her painting Once Upon a clearing, “My paintings for over six years now largely find a voice through the fallen twigs, leaves, flowers, bits of wire etc. I used to work mainly on board which allowed for very physical texturing and the materials to speak for themselves. As my connect with the detritus on the streets has grown stronger,  I experimented with a mix of monoprinting, and drawings so the ‘bits’ that come back to the studio with me can directly add to the story developing in paint and lend their form. In this painting as I stood back I felt I was being drawn into a clearing in a forest that quiet space away from the hustle and bustle with just a stream burbling gently.”

The lotus-baed works titled Within and Without emerged after Issar-Batra was invited to co-run a retreat in Bali in the first quarter of 2018.  “It has a lotus pond that I found myself drawn to at different times of the day and night observing how the flowers bloomed and died, the shadows they cast in the bright sun and the in the night light.”

She says about the Where have all the flowers gone series, “I have for a long time found anthropmorphic images in the scattering of the leaves, bits of twine, wire discards at building sites, between markings on the road surfaces teaming up with bits of grass and the like. It’s like a whole parallel universe peopled by what I started calling ‘the trash tribe’.  These too clamoured for a voice in my paintings and speak on issues of community, the environment and how we humans mistreat the earth which we only have a share in, not a right to do as we please with.” 

About Where do they all belong, she says, “Humans have been wanderers migrating and transmigrating over centuries to access resources, our DNA so mixed through this. However, instead of coming together as one people trying to be respectful of the earth we are privileged to live off and of our fellow beings, we build fences and fight  creating division on colour, creed, control of resources, gender, sexual orientation, race and so much more.”

Issar-Batra is of Indo-British origin, now based in Singapore. She grew up running free on the hillsides of Nainital, Uttaranchal and then found herself in the urban chaos of Delhi.  She went on to live and work in the UK for twenty years before moving to Singapore nine years ago with her family. Largely self taught, she trained traditionally three years in the studio of British artist, James Holdsworth, then was mentored for a further four years by Australian artist, David Kelly.

Related Links : Art Exhibitions 
ART EXHIBITION "No Number, No Name" solo art show by Singapore based, Indo-British artist Kavita Issar Batra > 28th March to 6th April 2019 ART EXHIBITION "No Number, No Name" solo art show by Singapore based, Indo-British artist Kavita Issar Batra > 28th March to 6th April 2019 Reviewed by DelhiEvents on Saturday, April 06, 2019 Rating: 5

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