When it comes to art, an artist can go to any lengths to bring out his imagination in the form of vibrant strokes on the plain white canvas even if it means reconnecting with oneself and going back in the history. A solo art exhibition of Shobha Menon, is being held from March 17-22 at the Art Gallery, Lalit Kala Akademi in the national Capital. The show was declared open by the renowned lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar on the eve of March 17.
Shobha is exhibiting 31 of her works done in different media including oil, acrylic, pencil, ink and digital as an art installation titled ‘Connectome’. It represents the various expressions/responses of her towards various incidents that happen in the social-scape, history and life around. She is relating those experiences into colour, imagery, epics, poetry, literature, and her own inner thought process and maps it as a connectome to represent her life and art.
The installation ‘Connectome’ translates this map into a visible representation. It is a frozen snapshot. A thousand conversations that happen in a moment, transient interconnections that create new ideas. Following her thoughts of this extracted moment, one cannot but notice the intense angst against the constricting and dehumanising clutches of the patriarchy.
Moving fluently between the stories of abandonment of the antiquity to violent invasion and attack on body autonomy of the present, she displays her deep concern in the ongoing fight for gender equality.
“No art is accidental. It always has a quiet beginning, and phases of growth and flowering inside the artist. As an artist, I like to capture mood and emotion, internalised memories of myths and narratives, complexities and subtleties of human experience. Deep rooted images of Indian culture and the fast moving technology of this present world tend to impasse me in a cultural synthesis, where I am caught in a whirlpool of imagery and a process to evolve a new idiom of visual language on canvas. My works during a certain period were landscapes or rather my impressions of landscapes that caused ripples in my emotional pool. From landscapes I evolved into humanscapes – the layered images being semantic counterparts of the moments plucked out of my life.
Shobha, who is a Kochi based artist, created eight large paintings for the play ‘Draupadi’ performed by Lokadharmi Theatre in 2012. In 2014-15, she did art direction for the new play, ‘Egle and Cleopatra’ and the play is a multimedia performance which combines music, visual art and theatre. Shobha has also been selected to be part of a curated traveling show by Indo American Arts Council, New York for the Year 2012.