The Exhibit Week

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

We at Happy Hands Foundation promised our artists an exhibit at the end of the Residency – one that would not only showcase their past works but that would give them a platform to interact with the urban art lover, a space which they could call their own.

It was Day 22 I think, or something like that, and we panicked – or rather, we streamlined. Teams were divided, tasks separated, and we had a goal in mind! With Medhavi, Yashna, and Raghini working on the entire exhibit plan, Shruti, Shreya, Parul (our interns from NIFT and Pearl Academy), and I were working on the documentation for the whole Residency. Time didn’t stop and neither did we. Day and night became one, and everyone at the office carried on working.

Padma Didi was working on creating masks depicting nine different emotions – anger, love, fear, humor, wonder,heroic, horror, peace, and parental love. Having never before explored different emotions in her masks – the faces are pretty straight forward with a slight smile – this was a tough one! She kept coming back with different emotions to ask if it worked – it was an interesting exercise for her (we hope). The end result was fabulous! A step forward! Some of the emotions created were incredibly life-like. We are confident that this is something that she might explore further once she’s done working on her application for a State Award.

Chittara art draws heavily from the local folk songs. Working around something that involves singing and representing the song in a painting, Radha started work on creating frames of images from a song. The song is a conversation between Lord Shiva and his cow Kamdhenu – wherein He (Lord Shiva) is requesting Kamdhenu to go to Earth to save the people and help them. The song was depicted in eight frames, each larger than life and intricate as always! Again, a very tough one – its tough to squeeze seven or eight paintings in a span of three days, but none of this diminished the determination of our dear Radha. She took this as a challenge and pushed her to create her final project. Something that motivated her to be at it from the get-go.

If you were to ever sit down and speak to Heera Didi, she would mention how weddings are a big deal in her community and her art form. Everything about Madhubani begins and ends with a wedding celebration. As such, for her final project, she worked on creating frames of the entire wedding scene – right from the finalization to the time the bride leaves for the grooms house. Each and every frame was painted on canvas sheets cut out in different sizes and then all of them were stitched together depicting a wall symbolizing how traditional Madhubani paintings are done on walls.

Our dear Seboti was working on depicting her journey from home to Puri on Canvas Bags and was also working on painting on the Jewelry Case/Closet designed by Raghav.

To be working with so much energy was a rush to say the least, motivating, and at times scarily frustrating knowing that so much hard work had been put in. Will it work? Will this lead to what we set out on Day 1? Without clouding our minds with a ‘results oriented’ approach, we kept at it.

The room was set up, stage was set, the time was 4:59 and we had Visitors! :)

The exhibit was on for a week until the 12th of May and with this we close our first Residency.

Learning? Yes!

Fun? Yes!

Until we meet again. Thank you for all your support and appreciation.

Pictures to follow shortly.

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