Artists sculpt stories in stone at Leisure valley

The energy is hard to miss as the sculptors explore various dimensions of the medium, their own thought processes and the environment they are engaged with – Le Corbusier’s architecture.

The Museum Outreach Activity Centre at the Leisure Valley has transformed into an outdoor studio space as 14 sculptors, as part of Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi’s stone sculpture workshop (on till February 18), breathe life into stone by transforming these blocks of stone into works of art. The energy is hard to miss as the sculptors explore various dimensions of the medium, their own thought processes and the environment they are engaged with – Le Corbusier’s architecture.

The outdoor workshop is open to the public. As a part of the workshop, art lovers will not only have a chance to observe the sculptors at work, but also get a closer look at their creative journeys through slide presentations by the sculptors at the end of the workshop. “The workshop strives to provide sculptors, art lovers, art students, and city residents with a platform to converse about the great Indian medium of art of sculpting, along with discussing the many challenges sculptors face,” says Bheem Malhotra, Chairperson of the Akademi, adding that many students are assisting sculptors in this workshop.

Sculptors from the tricity include, Vishal Bhatnagar, Sanjeev Kumar, Rajesh Sharma, Nitin Dutt, Hriday Kaushal, Gurmeet Goldie, Rajender Kumar, Parminder Singh, Harpal, Parvesh Kumar, Ramandeep Singh and Pardeep Kumar. Renowned sculptor from Kerala, Valson Kolleri, who is here after 40 years, says he has no per-conceived ideas before he begins work. “Stone has such a strong character and can withstand any climate. To work with stone, it is very important to have focus.”

Chandigarh, its spaces, architecture, grid pattern and geometry have inspired Nitin Dutt, who was born and brought up here and now teaches at the Banaras Hindu University. Chandigarh as a modern city and Banaras one of the oldest cities, are two opposites and distict realities that Dutt can’t get away from. His art notices these polarities and Dutt’s sculpture is a combination of crafted geometrical shapes, with some part of stone left natural and a grid pattern part of the sculpture.

Rajender Kumar, who has lived in the city for all his life, is also inspired by it. Working on a big stone, he leaves a major part of the stone in its natural shape and texture and explains, “Like Le Corbusier left many spaces empty in this city, giving it a unique character and form.’’

Sanjeev Kumar describes his work as simplified geometry on the theme of Ardhnarishwar. “Working on stone can be tough. There is no scope for mistakes as changes are hard to make. But that is also the beauty of the medium,” says Kumar. Vishal Bhatnagar, the coordinator of the workshop, uses Indian iconography for his work on fiberglass, bronze and now stone. “Moon is everyone’s, as is the sun and earth…God had no form, the rest we have humanised it and that is the philosophy of this work.”

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