1 Minute with a Devi

WATCH NOW: Senior Vice President Punya Nagpal discusses the striking effect of contemporary Indian artist Ravinder Reddy’s monumental sculpture, Devi.

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She Came, She Painted, She Conquered

A look at five women artists who redefined womanhood as a subject of enquiry.

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In Conversation With: Valay Shende

WATCH NOW: The sculptor famed for his recent public installation Dabbawala, discusses his Buffalo series and the philosophy behind his art during a studio visit with Saffronart.

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L.N. Tallur To Debut At Nature Morte

Elizabeth Prendiville of SaffronArt shares an announcement about L.N. Tallur’s “ UKAI (Cormorant Fish Hunting)” in Delhi.

New York: L.N. Tallur has established a strong career through his sculptural pieces that convey a greater meaning and commentary on our contemporary world. His training and work experience worldwide have provided a vast approach to reoccurring societal plagues and inspirations that are present in all of his work. While he touches on historically rooted techniques each of his pieces employs a thematic response to time, want, greed, nostalgia and other elements of human life. His new show “UKAI (Cormorant Fish Hunting)” starting on January 11th at Nature Morte, will display all new works and embodies that metaphorical message that he is known for. Currently, the artist resides in both India and South Korea and utilizes inspirations from a variety of cultural standpoints to depict his metaphorically driven work.

Even the title “UKAI (Cormorant Fish Hunting)” is filled with a greater meaning from the artist’s perspective. In this name he is referencing the medieval Chinese and Japanese technique of fishing with help of trained cormorant birds. Each cormorant bird (or “Ukai” in Japanese) is controlled by a knot at the base of the throat that prevents them from devouring the fish and instead allowing the fisherman to obtain the spoils of their hunt. This collision between human desire and nature is Tallur’s well-crafted illustration for the presence of greed in our society, specifically within global labor out-sourcing.

Tallur’s sculptures expand on these themes through depictions of manipulated figural shapes as well as a wide variety of materials such as wood, metals and mixed media. The artist takes an earnest and aggressive approach to these themes while still remaining playful and explorative in his work.


Prior to his solo exhibition at Nature Morte, L.N. Tallur debuted his solo exhibition “Quintessential” at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai in 2011. In addition to “UKAI” his solo exhibition “Balancing Act” is currently being show at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.  While in South Delhi this winter, do visit the curatorial space Nature Morte to take in this eclectic exhibition. “UKAI (Cormorant Fish Hunting)” will be on display through February 8th 2014. To learn more about this exhibition and Nature Morte visit their website here. 

The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories

Ambika Rajgopal of Saffronart shares a note on Amar Kanwar’s show ‘The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

London: Amar Kanwar is regarded as India’s foremost contemporary artist. His cinematic focus challenges and redefines the politics of power, violence, sexuality and justice. Fusing the documentary perspective with a unique aesthetic, his work opens out multiple layers of experience and perception. His work has always aimed to expose and shed light on social and political issues that have plagued the Indian subcontinent since the partition.

The Sovereign Forest, 2010-2012, Amar Kanwar. Image Credit: http://www.tba21.org/augarten_activities/165

The Sovereign Forest, 2010-2012, Amar Kanwar. Image Credit: http://www.tba21.org/augarten_activities/165

Yorkshire Sculpture Park will be the host to Amar Kanwar’s first major UK exhibition The Sovereign Forest + Other Stories in October 2013. The Sovereign Forest (2011-) is a conglomerate of films, objects and stories, where each element interacts with the other. It is a body of work that has been done with the collaborative effort from farmers, indigenous tribes, artists and activists in Odisha; and highlights their state of conflict with the government and mining corporations. It has the transformative ability to function as an art installation, a library, a memorial and an archive. 

Farmers and local tribes in the state of Odisha have been in the middle of a clash with government against building open pit bauxite mines. These mines displace forests, agricultural lands, rivers, coastlines, homes and livelihoods of all the agrarian communities who have been forced out of work. The Sovereign Forest has special resonance at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, since it is situated on the Yorkshire coalfields and surrounded by former mining communities.

The Sovereign Forest 2012-, Amar Kanwar. Image Credit: http://www.ysp.co.uk/exhibitions/amar-kanwar-the-sovereign-forest-other-stories

The Sovereign Forest 2012-, Amar Kanwar. Image Credit: http://www.ysp.co.uk/exhibitions/amar-kanwar-the-sovereign-forest-other-stories

At the crux of the work is the film The Scene of Crime, which provides us with a vision of the natural landscape of Odisha, prior to its acquisition and division for commercial use. All the images are from land captured by the government and the corporations. It bears testimony to the extent of damage caused due to these mining sites, which strips the local communities of their access to the natural resources.

Some of the other exhibits on display are 272 different varieties of rice seeds brought from the farms of Odisha, which show the disappearance of local crops, and the effect global agriculture has on local organic farmers; and handcrafted books with the text silk screened onto banana fibre paper, which narrate stories that expose the concerns of those affected by the flux of global demands.

The Sovereign Forest in on permanent display at the Samadrusti campus in Bhubanesawar, Odisha. The work is in a state of constant evolution by encouraging visitors to contribute to the evidence presented. The evidence on display includes photographs, lists of residents, land records and tax receipts, proofs of occupancy, maps of acquired villages, documents.

Also on display are The Listening Benches, Kanwar’s first sculptural objects for the open air that are situated around Bothy Garden, situated within the sprawling confines of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This work is a commission by the artist specially made for the YSP and is made out of the timber of a 19th century organ from the estate chapel. The benches offer a place of quietude and contemplation while overlooking Bretton Estate and coalfields beyond. The work is completed by an audio installation of music, which imparts a voice to the now nonoperational organ.

The show is on view from 11 September 2013 till 2 February 2014.

For more information, please access the website.

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