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Art Show: Images of India

Prospectus and Entry Instructions

Exhibit Entries accepted from 7/26/2004 to 8/26/2004.

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Prospectus

India has long held sway over the fascination of many. It is mysterious, complex, colorful, violent, peaceful and exciting. It can be fluid and rigid at the same time. For some, it is an alien and captivating world. For others it is familiar yet no less captivating.

Take your own journey into India. Explore the rich culture through the lens of the past or the present. View India from a secular angle or a religious one. Let your path lead you through the urban world or the rural landscape. Perhaps, you will find yourself at many of these points.

Use whatever method of "travel" you choose to take you to the Subcontinent. Feel free to utilize histories, religious texts, folk tales and legends. Film and cookbooks are also excellent resources. Below is a suggested list of authors and books. Remember, these are just "suggested" so don't feel bound to them.

To provide context for the viewer, artists must include supporting text for each piece entered explaining how their piece works within the theme as well as the resources used.


Authors to explore:

Kamala Markandaya
Rabindranath Tagore
V.S. Naipaul
Arundhati Roy
E.M. Forster
Salman Rushdie

Titles:

Kamala Markandaya - Nectar in a Sieve
Jhumpa Lahiri - Interpreter of Maladies
Vikram Chandra - Red Earth and Pouring Rain
Hasan Shah - Nautch Girl
R.K.Narayan - The Vendor of Sweets
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala - Heat and Dust
Anita Desai - Clear Light of Day
Premchand - The Gift of a Cow
Kalpana Bardhan - Of Women, Outcastes, Peasants, and Rebels: A Selection of Short Stories
Kali for Women, ed. - Truth Tales: Contemporary Stories Written by Women Writers of India
John Stratton Hawley & Mark Juergensmeyer, ed. & trans.- Songs of the Saints of India
Manmatha Nath Dutt - A Prose English Translation of the Mahabharata

This is a Juried Show

Juror: John Seed

Juror's Statement

I was captivated by the variety of artistic approaches presented in this show. It was obvious that the artists involved had great respect for the culture they were exploring, and the results have a pleasing multi-cultural flavor. One interesting note: many of the works were tinged with Surrealism, which seemed to give the Westerners of ebsq a way of approaching the sacred and profane in Indian culture.

Perhaps India should outsource some of the production of its traditional art to the artists of ebsq?

I found three works particularly outstanding. My choices are on an equal footing with each other, so there is no rank implied by the order below:

Aria Nadii: Love Spell

This work captures the unashamed eroticism of Indian art, and portrays cosmic love with sensuous immortals. The artist's use of the palimpest technique is nothing short of exquisite.

Divine Love by john christopher borrero

borrero has an assemblage style that brings to mind the work of Joseph Cornell. The fact that this work can be shown with either end up is a very clever way of suggesting the tension between the symbolic attributes of Vishnu and Sri Laksmi. The artist's extreme sensitivities to surface and symbolism make this work compelling and mesmerizing.

Shiva the Destroyer by John P Thompson.

This interpretation of Shiva, by way of a hilarious quote from Salman Rushdie is a masterpiece of scratchboard art. The style evokes both 19th century engravings, like those that might have illustrated an early edition of Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book" as well as Max Ernst's disturbing collages of the early 20th century. This work evokes the eternal, the Victorian and the cosmic in one stunning image.

Also two Honorable Mentions:

Rikki and Nagaina in the Cobra Burrow by Tracey Allyn Greene

An exquisite miniature in the tradition of Mughal painting which de-Disneyfies the imagery of Kipling's "Jungle Book." Take a close look: you won't be disappointed.

Indian Lotus by Linda O'Neill

This gorgeous watercolor evokes the calm of the Buddha along with the Lotus flower which symbolizes the birth of the divine in both ancient Indian and Egyptian culture.

- John Seed

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