The ninth virtual art exhibition by Rangrez, the Art Group of Indian Social Club Muscat, which was inaugurated by Muscat’s popular Colombian artist Rebecca Nigrinis, was a huge success, marking yet another milestone for Indian artists in Oman.
Nigrinis upheld the spirit and cohesiveness of the Indian artist group that has not missed a single month of displaying art through this year which was mostly ravaged by the dreaded pandemic. This virtual exhibition marks their collective input for September.
Unlike the eight preceding virtual exhibitions this year, where each month belonged to a single curator, September saw three artist members co-curating. These were Uma Gopinath, the single person behind the smooth running of the group, Soubam Priyananda, the artist who creates the most beautiful posters for most of the exhibitions, and Sushmita Gupta, convenor of Rangrez and the brains behind this series.
The exhibition, titled ‘Simply 100’, indicates the fact that a canvas is really a diary on which an artist expresses his/her thoughts with tools like paints, brushes, pencils, charcoals, paper, scissors and what have you, asserts Sushmita.
“The backstage people of Rangrez – Uma, Soubam and me – agreed to turn joint curators for the month of September and decided to go big and unbridled with the theme. Just about any thought was alright, as long as the canvas/ paper size was a metre by a metre,” she said.
“While each one of us works singly in our solitary confinements none of us are really isolated from our surroundings. We end up hearing similar songs and stories. We are exposed to the same cultural and natural crises. But each one is affected differently and therein lies our uniqueness,” she further pointed out.
“When the theme is ‘just about any,’ one gets a true glimpse of the mind and heart of the artist and that is what this exhibition has sought to do.”
There was an overwhelming response from the artist group. Around 42 artists participated with 48 paintings. Uma Gopinath’s two – ‘Equus’ and ‘Memories of the Sea,’ Asawari Deoras’ three – ‘Sanctuary I,’ ‘Sanctuary II,’ and ‘Unfathomable Treasures’, and Sushmita Gupta’s four – ‘Transient,’ ‘It’s Complicated.’ ‘Nuclear’ and ‘Whirlpool’ were some of the key exhibits. The other artists submitted a painting each.
When the theme is ‘just about any’, one gets a true glimpse of the mind and heart of the artist and that is what this exhibition has sought to do.
The paintings that came up carried a lot of intrinsic meaning and covered a myriad of topics, from spirituality to current affairs, abstract
Two paintings caught my attention – The Clipper of the Seas by Shashi Hemant with many stories woven within it, and Sanctuary by Asawari Deoras, which is a manifestation of nature’s beauty that co-exists in harmony.