Unusually relevant


On display at the Siddhartha Art Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited is the exhibition titled ‘An Exhibition of Mixed Media Works’ by Nepali artist Youdhisthir Maharjan based in Henniker, NH and American artist Maureen Drdak, from November 25.

As per the title, both artists have used mixed media to express themselves. The first and second floor of the gallery is awash with Maharjan’s works where his works are unusual. Unusual, as he has used texts and pages from reclaimed books such as Understanding Our Dreams, When God was a Woman, Love, A Long Walk to Freedom and more to create a new language altering the original text. The pages have been erased, scrapped off and cut out individually. Also the pages are braided and woven some weblike adding a new mark of remaking. Taking the pages of Quest of Human Happiness he has painted the pages in white acrylic leaving the words ‘ha and he’ untouched; similar words are seen scattered all over the page that touches on the essence of the book’s title.

The repetitive letters, geometric lines and patterns efficiently give the essence that the artist is meditating, or praying or carrying out some ritual. In his work, the core feelings of human beings such as happiness, love, hurt and more that can only be felt have been transformed into something physical and visible.

The ground floor hosts Drdak’s works that reflect the need for environmental and cultural awareness.

With the Lacuna series, she has created five delicate looking wonderful paintings using graphite pencil with lapis lazuli and palladium on Twinrocker handmade paper. Lacuna means an unfilled space where Drdak has filled the Twinrocker handmade paper that looks similar to Nepali handmade paper with fine lines and dots where the blue colour from the lapis lazuli resembles the sky while the lustrous silvery-white metal — palladium — adds depth and drama to her

creations. These works look like a part of earth’s atmosphere as seen from the aerial view where having lesser

portion of blue on the paper indicates the effect of human actions deteriorating the Earth’s atmosphere.

In her repoussé painting ‘Burning World’ using acrylic, mineral particles, platinum and copper repoussé elements on circular wood panel, she has taken the wood panel as the Earth with the copper repoussé symbolising the map of the world against a backdrop of red and black giving an effect of urgency to control pollution and save the world. Her use of copper repoussé has given a cultural synthesis where eastern and western iconographies are integrated. Drdak is the only contemporary artist whose paintings incorporate repoussé and she was trained under Newar repoussé master Rabindra Shakya as part of Fulbright Fellowship in 2011-2012 in Nepal.

The exhibition will continue till December 9.