SARMAYA IN COLLABORATION WITH OJAS ART PRESENT ‘ ECHOES OF THE LAND: ART BEARS WITNESS TO A CHANGING PLANET’
More than 24 works of art from 20 artists on display as Sarmaya brought its collection to New Delhi for the first time
Sarmaya Arts Foundation and Ojas Art announced an exhibition, Echoes of the Land: Art Bears Witness to a Changing Planet. from November 3 to November 20, 2022, with a preview on November 2nd, this unique exhibition used the incredible gaze of Indian art to depict our essential and fragile connection with Earth. More than 24 works of indigenous and contemporary art from 20 artists in the Sarmaya collection made up this exploration of our relationship with nature as Sarmaya brought its art collection to New Delhi for the first time.
As large portions of our planet are increasingly uninhabitable through searing heat, fire and floods, this powerful exhibition of Indian art turned a keen eye on the climate crisis and our fraught relationship with the environment. The artists echoed our anxieties and hoped for the planet as their installations and work draw our attention to the dire situations we face as humans.
This uncommon exhibition included Krishanand Jha paying tribute to the ceaseless toil of a farmer’s day by recording each activity in the precise lines of Madhubani’s Kachni style. KP Pradeepkumar hinted at the cataclysmic power of a river in spate by letting it uncoil, across a lush countryside, like an approaching serpent – a haunting reminder that deadly as nature’s fury can be, its silence is far more chilling.
Through these artists, the work gave voice to the nameless dread that seizes us at the sight of a great river reduced to a trickle or a sacred forest paved over with asphalt. The minutely remembered landscapes of Sumit Chitara, Zarina Hashmi and Chandan Bez Baruah showed what once was and what will, never be.
Sparking new paths to redemption in our imagination, artists Tushar and Mayur Vayeda planted seeds of hope by invoking the Warli Goddess of fertility, Kansari. Like the seeds the Goddess scatters, she urges us also to strike roots once again in the soil. Soghra Kurasini and Gopa Trivedi offered gripping landscapes for rewilding and rejuvenation.
Sarmaya Arts Foundation founder Paul Abraham said, “We’re really happy to partner with Ojas Art and offer a platform for these incredible works of art to tell the story of the most pressing issue of our time – climate change. It’s so humbling to see the work of these incredibly talented artists express something that can seem indescribable and yet, cannot be more integral and central to all of us.”
This one-of-a-kind exhibition was a unique partnership between Sarmaya and Ojas Art, in an attempt to explore the relationships between collectors, gallerists and artists through the work they create. This collaboration was also special because it is rare to see museums and art galleries collaborate to showcase museum collections. This is part of a series of partnerships between Sarmaya Arts Foundation and art galleries.
“Hosting a joint show with Sarmaya (Foundation) is an absolute honour. This is a one-of-a-kind exhibition where the museum has come to the gallery with their collection to recognise the gallery’s role in collection building — definitely a big first. Through the exhibition we hope to have varied outreach activities to build on new audiences,” said Anubhav Nath, Director of Ojas Art.
Sarmaya Arts Foundation
Sarmaya Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit curated repository of art, artifacts and living traditions from the Indian subcontinent. This diverse collection falls into the categories of numismatics, cartography, photography, engravings, rare books, indigenous art and modern and contemporary art. Founded in 2015 by Mumbai-based banker, history enthusiast and patron, Paul Abraham Sarmaya aims to make India’s art, heritage and culture more accessible, engaging and educational. Through a combination of immersive online engagement and on-ground programming such as exhibitions, educational outreach programs, talks, films, workshops and curated travel experiences, Sarmaya has transcended the conventional boundaries of a ‘museum’ and made art accessible to all. This modern, digital museum is led by Paul Abraham and his partner and brand custodian, Pavitra Rajaram.