With Bangalore’s landscape transforming so rapidly, the current scenes in the city are sure to vanish before one can observe the rate of this change. There is already a great sense of nostalgia that is prevalent among us as we move through the city even to get simple chores done. We suddenly realise that the little shop has disappeared, that muddy road has now become a commercial street.
Srividya G S has captured scenes of the city in her photographic memory and reproduced them with the medium of charcoal, water color and paper. The show is being held in Gallery Time & Space on Lavelle Road and is on till July 14th.
More than technical details, she focuses on the general visual culture of the city, the public areas that have not yet been touched by the mall culture of commercial market places. Her strong resistance to the recent constructions of Bangalore renders them non-existent when it comes to her artists productions. Yet it is a very easy process that comes so naturally to her.
Srividya’s illustrations of Dodda market (Mysore), Devraja Market (Mysore), Gandhi Bazaar, HAL Market, K R Puram Market, Malleshwaram and so on with the raw look that charcoal renders express a desire to preserve these fast disappearing scenes at least in pictures. The process of registering these images of the city and reproducing them is something that comes almost unconsciously to the artist. Being fond of driving, as she moves around, the little bazaars catch her keen attention while the malls and huge bill boards just disappear into the background.
In exploring the cityscape and expressing her observations she is also exploring herself and her own inclinations. For instance Srividya keeps depicting market areas with people gathered in groups in almost all her charcoal works as a desire for more of social space than commercial space.
Though her works are not technically experimental, they have a hint of it within them. There is a very slight tendency to push beyond what she has touched so far. The more this tendency develops the quicker will be her growth as an artist. There is also a strong need to break free from some traditional ways of seeing and expressing to come up with a production that would really catch the eye of not just viewers but even experts in the field.
The artist’s visual sensitivity to nature is very evident in her striking water colors. The bright pinks and yellows are very characteristic of the summers of Bangalore. The flower blossoms are painted very delicately among the thick brown branches. Even in these water colors there is the impression that the artist is preserving something of the city that is at stake right now.
Having started off with water color she has gradually incorporated charcoal as her medium too. This shift is a positive sign as it suggests that she can move on to different media as a growing artist since new media works are more relevant in the current art scenario where it greatly contributes to the idea, content and visual language of the artist. Having completed her bachelor’s degree from Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA), Mysore) and her Master in Fine Arts (MFA)from Chitra Kala Parishath, Bangalore, she has a good base on which she can build with her own expertise.
All said and done, Srividya is still at a very basic level in her career if she is aspiring to be known as a contemporary Indian artist. Though she has a keen visual sensitivity and a desire to express herself through the conventional mediums of artistic expression, there is a need for her to explore her concerns in a highly focused manner and become intensely individualistic in her subject matter. She is still to develop a characteristic style that would cause her work to be recognised as hers anywhere. Working earnestly and seriously on her style and content that reflects her typical personality will get her to the next level on her way up sooner. ⊕