Fine Art Awardee 2017: Tapan Mohanrana
Up the Red Staircase “Study Of A Space”
1Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery’s introduction comes in the way of a beautiful spiral red staircase that is as much visually appealing as it is welcoming to all it’s visitors and temporary residents. After quickly getting acclimatized to my new surroundings in just a few days, this spiral red staircase represented the ‘navaranga’ leading to the ‘garbhagriha’ of a temple. In the art scene in Bangalore, 1Shanthiroad is a sought after public space. The architecture, the greenery and most of all, the people and constant visitors to 1Shanthiroad inspired me immensely. I could feel the history of this place; I could sense the presence of art; And I welcomed new introductions. Spread out all around the space are Suresh Jayaram’s collection of trinkets, statues of gods & goddesses, potted plants, antiques and furthermore, remnants of artists’ artworks from the past. I decided I was going to use the space as my inspiration and work with the plethora of found objects.
As I spent my initial days, I began to handpick several objects that I could use as part of my work. I took the same objects and engaged in drawing exercises, converting the physical objects into memories on paper using an ink wash technique. The drawings are merely my initial interpretation of the objects and this becomes an integral part of my working process. As I observed and worked further with these objects, I began to unravel the meaning and history of these objects that always help me out with my sculptural work. This way, I connect with these objects more deeply on a personal level. With these new works, I still find it important to link back to my previous works and continue my academic practice of material exploration. Manipulating materials and found objects express stories or narratives that are generated organically within me. The sculptural work begins after the initial stage of drawings and continues to explore the notion of creating and erasing work. At 1Shanthroad, the same found objects were placed & replaced, mantled and dismantled, finally coming to an arrival of a good representation of the space through a final installation.
During this one month residency, my process was facilitated with the help of several other artists and practitioners. The notion of a public space really comes alive here at 1Shanthiroad as I felt I was truly part of a community. I was able to bounce off ideas of my work with others and work harmoniously with people around. I sincerely want to thank Mr. Suresh Jayaram, Ashok Vish and Sandeep TK – the team at 1Shanthiroad that enabled me to thrive here in such a short duration. I will take this experience and continue my practice with greater inspiration.
I am also very thankful to Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation for giving me this opportunity.