Wonders in wood:
For seven days, six sculptors from different parts of India created expressions in wood and metal, as part of a National Sculpture Workshop organised by the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, in collaboration with the Lalit Kala Akademi, National Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.
Ajay Pandey from Patna, Basudeb Bisbas from Jalandhar, Charanjeet Jaito from Jaito, Gurpreet Jolly from Chandigarh, Neeraj Ahirwar from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and Samrutikant Rout from Bhubaneswar worked together at the head quarters of Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Chandigarh. Giving shape to their creations, using different mediums like wood, iron, brass and steel they worked day and night with help from students of sculpture and professional colleagues from Punjab and Chandigarh. For the artists, the brief from the Akademi was to explore and experiment without the burden of having to complete the artwork and to work on concepts they had not been working on in their studios. The workshop was a platform for an exchange of thoughts, and gave the sculptors the freedom to create without any financial stress or a specific theme or subject. The premise of workshop was to give art lovers and students of art an opportunity to witness the sculptors’ creations and understand the processes of transforming simple materials into a work of art. The workshop also strived to provide a springboard to sculptors using different mediums and techniques, to create something unique.
The workshop concluded with an audio-visual presentation by the six sculptors, who shared the many aspects of their creative journey with the audience. With no formal training in art or sculpture, Charanjit Jaito, with slides of his work, shared that the work created here explored the idea of energy, how it is channelized, working with the concept of seven chakras. “The theme of my work is mukti of the mind,” shared Charanjit, depicting a technique he uses, where he burns part of the wood, to create cracks in it, and then fills it with natural colour pigments and lime to achieve a contrast of colours. Basudeb Bisbas works with brass, bronze, wood, and iron, exploring the many facets of the feminine form. During the presentation, shown as a video recording, he shared with the audience the relationship he explored between wood and nails, “In the sculpture, I attempted to capture the sound and silence of the heartbeat,” reflected Bisbas.
Ajay Pandey looked at the relationship between architecture and nature as it exists here in the city and created a geometrical and lyrical form to ‘break’ the plan. Samrutikant Rout engages with bamboo and traditional materials from the state of Odisha to create large sculptures. Here at the workshop, he combined wood with metal to create a striking work. Gurpreet Jolly’s inspirations for work are varied and in the slide show she presented her work ‘Go Green’, as part of which she made a wooden frame, which extended into the green space to highlight the concept of inclusiveness. Neeraj Ahirwar talked about how his works are inspired by his city Bhopal, with the abstract form closest to his heart. “While I love to work in marble and stone, here at the workshop it was fascinating to create an abstract sculpture in wood, which has a completely unique texture and feel,” said Ahirwar.