The Department of Art, Design and Performing Art, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University conducted a walk through to see the Displays of the Masters students (both First Year and Final Year) on Monday, 2 May, 2016.
The walk was attended by several students of Ambedkar University, Delhi College of Arts, Jamiamillia , J.N.U and a group of Artists, Art educators, Writers and Curators.
The morning commenced with a long Metro ride till the Botanical Garden Metro station, where, all had gathered at 11 am to catch a bus ride, till the Shiv Nadar University. By the time we reached the University it was already 1:30pm and the scorching heat and the long travel had taken a toll on all of us.
But to our solace, we were welcomed with food and beverages. After the dining session, we began our tour to the open studios of the First year Masters Students. Each student had transformed their 9X15 feet cubicles into a nest of their ideas. Every studio was a reflection of what each student had to say about their surroundings and personal experiences. Every studio had imbibed the persona of its respective artist. The display was casual and focused more on conveying the process and the evolution of thoughts and works rather than catering a finished art work for the viewers.
The works displayed encompassed, the use of a range of mediums like texts, graphic novels, performances, installations, found objects, machinery, drawings, water colours, digital prints, photography etc.
The group discussion post the First Year walk through, was intriguing, as it somewhere interrogated the similarities and the differences in the works produced at different schools of art within Delhi. The discussion can be deemed very constructive as it was not based on assumptions, but was fueled by the inputs of the students from all the Schools of Art in question.
Vidya Shivdas’s question investigated how the availability of individual studios and combined studios effect an artist’s thought and work process? Which later on extended to the question as to how, the geographical location of an institute, impacts the students perspective towards, the urban and the rural set ups?
At around 3:00 pm it was time to head towards the Final Year’s Display at The Kiran Nadar Museum. All those who were present, headed towards the bus while still discussing some unresolved questions of the previous session. On the way to the Museum Sharmila Samant donned the role of a “Tourist guide” by providing us inputs about the “Neel Gai” , Black buck” and the nesting grounds of the “Siberian birds”.
We reached the Museum around 4:pm. One could witness the stark difference between the display of the first year students and the Final year’s. The difference was not because of any other reason, but because of the purpose and the place of display. As opposed to the first year’s student’s display, which focused more on introducing the ongoing process of the works by each student, the Final year student’s display was dealt with precision, as a solo project by each artist. One could see a lingering presence of their Alma Mater in most of the works. This does not mean that the works were limiting in any way or lacked wider context, instead it implies that their inspirations and observations although rooted in their immediate surroundings dealt with wider contemporary, socio-political and geographical issues.
The exhibition offered a wide range of works, ranging from:
Drawings, Audio Visual installations, installations, Videos, sculptures, interactive works, Photo documentations, Digital prints, books, etc.
What is worth mentioning is that, the choice of most of the mediums was driven by the need of each work, rather than the fascination towards any particular medium.
The mediums used by the artist and the professional approach towards the exhibition by the students and the mentors, came under scrutiny during the second session of the discussion at the Museum. While some seemed over awed by the use of “TECHNOLOGY”, the others questioned the Grandeur and “PROFESSIONALISM” of the exhibit. Such questions were countered by questions and responses by the students and the mentors.
None the less the day and the colloquium was called quits at 7:30pm, when all headed towards the Metro station.
The day was well spent with thought provoking discussions and inputs by educators, students, artists and writers. The opportunity to have such casual yet stimulating discussions, unlike the ones, one has at gallery openings, was possible only because of the initiative by Vidya Shivdas, Shivangi Singh , Sharmila Samant, Vasudha Thozhur, Atul Bhalla, Tushar Jog and John Xaviers.
Looking forward to many more discussions like this!!!!!!