British, Indian works come together in Tiranga art show

October 31st, 2008 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The Union Jack met the Indian tricolour at Tiranga, an exhibition of Indian and British contemporary art at the Art Mall here, said to be the country’s biggest art display house. The 15-day show features 100 Indian and 20 British artists, including James Horton, vice-president of the Royal Society of British Artists, Alison Griffin, vice-president of the World Society of Miniature Artists and Graham Clarke, the ambassador of Kent.

The show is themed on the colours of the Indian national flag, complemented by British art works that weave in the shades of the Union Jack. Britain-based Xcross Polynation, a culture promotion platform, has co-partnered the exhibition.

The show was inaugurated Thursday at a mall located in Najafgarh in west Delhi by A. Blair Gulland, chairman of Kent School of Music and owner of Gullands Solicitors, one of Britain’s oldest law firms.

The exhibition is part of the mall’s new endeavour to promote British art in the run-up to the opening of a chapter in Britain.

Explaining the significance of the show, Naren Bikhu Ram Jain, director of the mall, told IANS: “The creative interpretations of the message of Indian independence through the works of more than 120 artists were a mirror to the achievements of modern India. Moreover, the national flag has instant recall and viewers can identify with it immediately.”

The high point of the show were a body of contemporary sculptures in cast metal and wood and a series of canvases on Mahatma Gandhi - including one by well-known contemporary artist Sanjay Bose - which captured the father of the nation in different moods and sequences.

The brightly-coloured frames were inspirational; while the sculptures depicting the working man and scenes from the Indian popular culture with shades and snatches of the tricolour used either as drapes or as highlights, stood for their intelligent craftsmanship and smooth lines.

A series of water colours by Brian Lewis and Graham Clarke, depicting the English countryside, were riveting because of their storybook illustration techniques.

The art works were priced Rs.20,000-100,000.

The mall is known for its populist approach to art - selling affordable art to the masses and promotion of young contemporary artists.

Gulland said he hoped to see more cultural exchanges between India and Britain. Gullands Solicitors, a patron of arts and music worldwide and in Britain, plans to showcase works by Indian contemporary artists in Britain and vice-versa.

“I am exploring Indian culture and also the immense material wealth created in India. Culture and aesthetics can add value to commerce though the bottomline of all businesses is profit.

“On the other hand, arts cannot pay for themselves, commerce can always lend a helping hand. I am looking at long-term exchanges,” Gulland, who belongs to a family of artists and musicians, told IANS.

The company has sent seven representatives to India this season to explore the possibilities of new initiatives in social and cultural exchange.

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