VoW 2018: Exhibitions
Photography: The Third Eye
Curated by Mr Avinash Chandra Joshi and Mr Bhumesh Bharti
The second edition of Third Eye, Valley of Words was organized between the 23rd and 25th of November 2018 in Dehradun.
VoW celebrates creative expressions across all diverse genres, from poetry, philately, and ballads to conversations, discussions, visual arts, music and much more. We also encourage creativity amongst the younger generations with our outreach activities in institutions in Dehradun.
Photography is one such avenue where we look forward to connecting with talent across the country, as well as abroad. Third Eye has received entries from leading photographers across the country.
Curated by Mr Abhai Mishra
VoW’s Philately Exhibition, “Icy Continent & Indian Expeditions” is curated by Mr Abhai Mishra, a member of the 21st Indian Expedition to Antarctica in 2002. His adventurous journey is complied in a book published in 2014 titled ‘Indian Antarctic Expedition, Philatelist’s Guide’, which traces the history of the Indian Antarctica Expeditions through mails and letters from within the expedition.
The exhibition celebrates the heroic era of early expeditions to Antarctica (1897-1958) and traces the history and remarkable achievements of Indian Scientific Expeditions from 1981 onwards.
History of Expeditions to Antarctica
The ice sheet in Antarctica originated more than 50 million years ago and acts as an extremely well preserved repository of all things buried in it, such as fragments of cosmic bodies, nuclear product cosmic rays and samples of entrapped air and minerals.
The first sighting of Antarctica was by Nathaniel Palmer in 1820, while the earliest known photographs of Antarctica were taken during BELGICA (1897-99) expedition. This seventh continent of the world is a demilitarized and nuclear free zone and offers freedom for research.
Indian Exploration of Antarctica
The first Indian to visit Antarctica was Dr. Giriraj Singh Sirohi in 1960-61. He conducted a unique experiment related to the Biological clock at the South Pole. To honour his contributions, the US Board on Geographic Names named a point in Antarctica the ‘Sirohi Point’ in 1966.
Dr. Paramjit Singh Sehra was the first Indian to winter over in Antarctica with 17th Soviet Antarctic Expedition (1971-73). Since 1981, India has been sending it’s own expeditions to the icy continent. The first permanent station “Dakshin Gangotri” was established in 1983 on the Prince Astrid ice shelf, “Maitri” was built during 1988-89, while the third station “Bharati” became operational in 2012 at Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica.
During the seventh Indian expedition, a post office with pin code 403001 was established at “Dakshin Gangotri” under the aegis of North Goa postal division, Goa-Panaji region, Maharashtra circle. The first letter was posted on 26th January 1988 on Republic Day. Postal mails from Antarctica cover approximately 25000 kilometers to and fro and go through various mode of transportation, Ships, helicopters, airplanes and even railways.
“Icy Continent & Indian Expeditions” portrays the early Antarctic expeditions (1897-1958) and Indian Antarctic expeditions through letters, postcards, covers, labels and the like.
A Bird Came Down to Walk: An Ode to the Birds in Mussorie
Words from the Curator, Rupa Samaira:
Born and brought up in Patna and now settled in New Delhi, I am a practicing bird artist, conservationist and teacher. Through diverse mediums, I attempt to capture the brilliant colours of all things avian, across the Indian subcontinent.
My penchant for birds and wildlife conservation has always been an influence in my passion for art. I like to express and convey both the fragility and magnificence of birds. At my studio in New Delhi, I am currently working on the theme of Himalayan birds and Native birds of various Indian states, and specifically the Coringa and Great Indian Bustard.
I remember spending almost every summer in Mussoorie as a child. This perhaps was truly the beginning of my journey to “observe” birds. We spent our time horse riding, exploring ruins of old British homes in Mussoorie, and walking through narrow winding tracks and serpentine pukhdundees. What I observed in nature, in later years has became the soul of my paintings that tell the story I want you to see.
I feel privileged to have an exhibition on the birds in Mussoorie. I often still go back there for inspiration. I sit quietly on a bench with my camera and a mug of tea and then all of a sudden, wonderful birds present themselves, single, in pairs or in family groups, Flycatcher, Finches, Thrushes, Barbets… It is here in Mussoorie that I inherited a collage that has never stopped growing from season to season. It continues today in my sketchbooks…
I support wildlife and conservation with my art. I pursue reference material year round, and I seek the help and advice of renowned bird photographers. I explore areas that provide wildlife experiences first hand and travel the country to expand my view.
It is vital and enlivening to see birds in their natural habitat. I first try and capture them on camera and then allow all of my senses to bring the bird to life on canvas. Through the use of water colours, acrylic and charcoal, my attempt is to capture a bird species as accurately as possible, through loose, spontaneous colours.
- “Birds of Ladakh” at LAMO (Ladakh Arts and Media Organization), with a touchable painting on Black billed Magpie.
- “Ek thi Chidiya”, an art exhibition on the fast disappearing sparrows of India at India Habitat Centre, Delhi as a contribution to World Sparrow Day 2018 with Nature Forever Society.
- Sculpture for Gaj Yatra, Wildlife Trust of India, “The bird and the elephant”. A four and a half-foot sculpture of an elephant and a bird cattle egret atop the elephant, warning the elephants from enemies.
Glimpses of the Last Shangrila
Curated by Pradeep and Rashmi Wahule
In the “Land of the Lamas,” the artist highlights the aspects of celebration of Indo- Tibetan Buddhism prevalent in the north-eastern Himalayan belt of India.
The spiritual attainment in this exhibition is evident through the use of enigmatic chanting, cosmic sounds of their traditional cymbals, wind instruments and drums. There is also a bountiful use of vibrant colours through traditional attires which are used in religious dance forms.
The ecstatic display of dance and music portrayed through the art is integral to all the religious ceremonies where men and women gleefully come together for merrymaking abound with immense religious fervour. The show essentially exhibits the pristine culture of this magnificent land, which is very much a part of the rich cultural heritage of India largely but is less known by most of us in the ‘mainland’ of our country itself.
The paintings are done on different papers like the Bristol sheets, Ingres papers, cold and hot pressed water colour papers and especially the local hand-made paper from the Mukto region of Tawang for capturing the vibrant colours of the place. The medium of painting is varied- primarily Indian ink, supported by the use of water colours, coloured ink blocks , dry pastels and pencil and wash.
Pradeep Wahule is a self taught artist who has been practising his art for over 25 years.
He started his career as an Assistant Professor in Zoology as well as faculty in Photography as an Art Form for the Bachelors in Mass Media course at Mumbai University until 2009. He is currently serving in the Indian Forest Service.
His passion for exploring newer realms of art always keeps him motivated to paint, in addition to fulfilling his responsibilities as a government servant.
Pradeep’s effort to portray the rich cultural heritage of his country through his art has been widely appreciated. This has motivated him in recent times to showcase his art for a larger audience.
Images and Words from a Village in the Valley
Curated by Kusum Kohli
The exhibition “Images and Words from a Village in the Valley” is curated by Kusum Kohli, an educationist with a vision for change, and many long years of experience. Since 2014, she has taught the girls who enroll in evening classes at Sunney Amanat’s.
Initially, the girls had no knowledge of English so Ms. Kohli put emphasis on speaking and reading the language. Soon, they developed a love for books, and book discussions often took place in the classroom.
After a year or so when they were more proficient in the language, drama, art and poetry were introduced into the curriculum. The girls applied themselves with energy and enthusiasm. Much to their delight, all the good work they created was displayed and discussed, becoming a learning resource as well.
An art aficionado, Kusum Kohli had always believed that all teaching should be related to art. At Sunney’s Amanat, the girls’ response to the subject was initially stiff and stilted. But their innate imagination and creativity started to open up with exposure to illustrated books like those of Tulika and Tara, images of folk and tribal art from India and the works of great world artists like Rousseau, Kandinsky and Matisse. Nature, too, became an inspiration. The girls began to experiment, play with colours, textures, forms, styles and compositions and create art of their own from deep within themselves. After that, there was no stopping them. It was then that they created the works on view in this exhibition: expressive, vividly coloured paintings of nature; stories narrated by their grandparents and parents, as well as poems, all evocatively illustrated.
The girls used acrylic colours for their art, and wax crayons were sometimes used to give the images a depth. They painted without preliminary pencil drawings, but when figures were included they drew the outline with a brush. No copying was involved, and everything came from their imagination. The theme was provided by Ms. Kohli, and while they were painting, if she felt something could be improved, she made suggestions or showed them techniques.
The whole process built self-esteem and confidence in the girls. There was a sharing of ideas and immense learning happened. They had never worked in this creative way before, but they were more than ready to embrace the opportunity.
The seven girls whose work is included in the exhibition all come from ordinary government schools and illiterate or semi-literate families. Some of their fathers hold jobs as gardeners and cooks; one is a dhobi, another an electrician. Some of their mothers work as maids.
Nevertheless, they want their girls to be educated, independent and have careers. They are keen for their daughters to be integrated in the mainstream while preserving their cultural heritage and traditional values.
The exhibition “Images and Words from a Village in the Valley” exemplifies the way in which this goal can be attained. Above all, it proves that the lives of disadvantaged young people, especially girls, may be transformed by committed organisations such as Sunney’s Amanat and inspired teachers like Kusum Kohli.
Curated by the Gogoi family
The spider webs a million dreams with its flimsy and silken soft, gossamer threads. Rarely do we notice the intricate details of the exquisitely crafted workmanship of this tiny insect until a ray of sunlight gets filtered through the delicate lines or a cuddling dew drop, creating a translucent rainbow of colours.
Such is the charisma of this 5 years old tender little artist, Ayan Gogoi Gohain, when it comes to his marvelous creations. Since the age of one he has had the sense of direction, depth and clarity, be it in his painting, photography or writing. He has a keen eye for details and knows exactly where and how he wants to go. His delicate and brilliant strokes, pretty much like the gossamer threads, bring out the magic of colours when these meet the admirer’s eyes and forever linger in their hearts.
Stories of the Partition: 1947
In August, 1947, when independence was granted to the former imperial domain of British India, it was partitioned into two countries – India and Pakistan. The largest mass migration that followed saw the death and displacement of millions of people.
The Partition Museum, set up under the aegis of The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust (TAACHT) in Amritsar, tells the story of Partition using first-hand accounts of those who witnessed the event. Despite the extensive loss to life and property, seventy years later no museum or memorial existed anywhere in the world to remember the millions who were affected. The Partition Museum opened all its galleries to the public on Partition Remembrance Day on 17 August 2017, and has since become one of the most visited destinations in Amritsar.
Our exhibition at Valley of Words 2018 will give audiences a glimpse into this collection and the stories that are showcased in the museum galleries. Set up as an interactive, immersive museum, our current display houses oral histories, physical objects that people brought with them when they migrated, such as newspapers, maps, photographs and much more.