Review by Palakshi Dass
March 15, 2017


Curated by Anoop Kamath
Parul Sinha, Ritu Kamath, Ushmita Sahu, Ruchika Wason Singh, Manmmet Devgan, Megha Joshi,Shipa Mayenkar and  Sayaka Arase
February 26-March 31, 2017
White Walls,The Art Gallery, Kochi

Eight women artists across India come together forNext, an exhibition of painting, drawing and mixed media, at the White Walls, The Art Gallery, in Pallarivattom in Kochi, Kerala. Though Next is a future term and has abstract meaning too, the curator of the show Anoop Kamath expanded the idea in a very constructive way. He says, “Typically when we don’t know what the next move is, it usually means there’s something behind that’s still holding us back— there’s something in your past that still may need some attention.Before moving forward, it may be necessary to move backwards.”

Every next step of anyone’s journey depends upon the past experience that helps to create a new beginning. The relation between past and future arises here the present and that is Next. In this aim of eight artists communicated with their thoughts in varied perspective. One can see in this exhibition the vividness of expression. The presence of past is very much prominent in Ritu Kamath’s works, where as Ushmita Sahu is reinterpreting the concept What Next and for Parul Sinha Next is a continuous process of change.

Delhi artist Ritu Kamath, revisits the past in search of freedom of expression; in her four works  L’amour … Forever ( the insane love), Origin…forever, Silencieux…Forever and La femme deesse …forever ( look at the Mother Goddess). She is addressing the very iconic and symbolic female sculptures of Khajuraho as the epitome of love and expression. In medieval time the society was celebrating the ‘origin of all humankind’, where women were free to express their desire for love. In her paintings she showed that silent phase under the decorated creepers. Now the question to the contemporary society is what Next??? It is the time to look back at our history to revive the ideology freedom of expression.

Santiniketan-based Ushmita Sahu, manifestedher new drawing series Déjà vu in response to Next. Her immediate reaction to the concept What Nextcame to hold the episodic memory of present experienceas sudden feeling. This feeling comes without any conscious decision or any physical appearances. It is an action of experienced memory that gives birth of imaginations. The connection between brain and mind, the conscious and unconscious feeling, experience and imagination interplay in the artistic space. In this series the floating images create déjà vu in an illusionary space.

In the two woks Future continuesand Past Present Futureartist Megha Joshi personalises the concept and compares it with the cycle of nature. In the paintings she finds herself in the life cycle of butterfly. How their life cycle moves forward to the future is as common as one’s life. Keep moving is the answer of her all questions.

The shape and form of Chinese folding book is adopted by the Delhi-based artist Ruchika Wason Singh in her work Habitat Manual lll. She is more interested to make her art on an expandable surface. She defines Next as a stage of introspective pre-existing forms and concept.In her book the environmental issues are the concept of concern that makes a relation with expanded space.

To look back at the past,performance artist Manmmet Devgn has documented the four important phases of her life childhood, college, married life and divorce. Her emotional attachment with past at the present is continuing to the future. The series of work is all about hermind, jumpingfrequently now and then. She used old film rolls, polyester satin, ink, threads on paper.

Parul Sinha finds the conceptNextas a continuous search for the journey to reach from known to anunknown destination. In her woks the broken stitched lines, faded colour, disappearing forms are all justifying her thoughts regarding the concept. An unknown future is always mysterious.

What Next??? It was always a confusing question among us. But this exhibition clears the air, and leads us to what next should be and how one should start the Next begining…