Visual narratives that attract
At the NIV art centre was Uma Shankar Pathak's figurative studies on canvas that speak to us of struggles and metaphors done in the miniature tradition but works that speak to us about reflective deepened translations of a hand that is stealthy and steady and a grammar that is both devout and deeply indepth with an inherent desire for perfection.
"My recent works are the visual narratives of the struggle some life of a peasant, conveyed within a vast space with an economy of color", says the humble Uma Shankar. "They translate the vast expectation of a poor life of a villager, who has come to the city (Delhi) for the sake of money and position."
His canvasses crawl with tiny creatures but it is the balance of elements and the zebras that catch your gaze for the different ways in which they dot his canvas and give us a sense of a life that is balanced through many trials and tribulations.
"In my canvases I have juxtaposed both the rural as well as urban life by punching various objects like- plough, ploughshare, the peasant, the representation of crops as motive over the plough or the ploughshare, the huts etc" explains Uma Shankar. " I add lots of different objects from real life to my canvas, there are cars, buildings and other city signifiers. The plough is shown turns into the zebra crossing, so as to take the viewer into the village and then again bring him back to the city. It also acts as a platform over which the entire activities are shown in a miniature form. The plough or the ploughshare captures the dominating space in this vast universe of 'nothing in everything'."
In his figurative display of creatures and animals and objects floating Uma Shankar gives us multiple trajectories that seem to have their own conversations. In that dialectic of dialogues we see that an inherent individual's desire is one that is swimming in the dreams of a certain world that is torn between one's own ideals and the many aspirations that keep us living.When we look at the images of the zebras there is a sense of elevated space-the figurative values of integration in daily life, of being on earth and striving between its daily struggles.So in this reality and the mapping of natural behavior we see a case of time zones-there is mythical and real time, there is also the burden of ritual and the horizon that floats with one's matrix of moods and memories that seem to float with other elements in between.
"My present works are an evaluation of hardships through which a middle class person has to travel .The living standard of a simple person also changes when he comes in contact with the city-environment and the satisfaction with the little he earned vanishes and he is left with so little in his hand," says Uma Shankar whose show just finished at NIV art centre in Delhi.