Untitled by M.F. Hussain Image Credit: Supplied

Indian gallery Sanchit Art will showcase the best of modern and contemporary Indian art in the latest edition of its ongoing series of exhibitions titled “Kala Sutra”. The event has been organised in collaboration with Dubai-based BAQAA Glamour Weddings & Events and the Kataria Art Foundation.

The show features works by leading contemporary Indian artists such as Satish Gujral, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, Manu Parekh, Thota Vaikuntam, Paresh Maity and Neeraj Goswami. Late Indian masters M.F. Hussain and Ganesh Pyne are represented through iconic works, some of which have never been exhibited in public before.

The show also includes works by Sri Lankan artist Senaka Senanayake, French artist Maite Delteil and Svetlana Osobik from Ukraine.

Sanchit Joshan, chairman of Sanchit Art, says, “Sanchit Art represents the best of contemporary Indian art and specialises in showcasing quality artworks by artists of various age groups. We aim to bridge the gap between artists working in India and abroad by establishing a platform to show contemporary European art in India while reciprocating the same with curated shows of contemporary Indian art abroad.

“After successful shows in Singapore and Hong Kong, we are excited to bring ‘Kala Sutra’ to Dubai. This city has become a place of dynamic cohabitation between different cultures and art forms, with the UAE increasingly becoming the hub of artistic excellence in the Middle East. Moreover, it is home to a thriving Indian community that understands and values such a timeless collection of works by Indian masters.

“Although the artworks reflect the personal journeys of the artists and their vibrant national spirit, the themes they have addressed are global and will appeal to all art lovers in the UAE.”

In Sanskrit, “sutra” refers to a thread that holds things together. Explaining his curatorial vision for the show, well-known art critic, writer and curator Arun Ghose says, “In this edition of ‘Kala Sutra’ we wish to re-look at the characteristics of both convergence and confluence of various ‘forces’ that have worked incessantly since time immemorial and played an active role in the development of the artistic codes and aesthetics of Indian art.

“‘Kala-Sutra’ of Indian art evokes a sense of timeless continuity and can hence be defined as the essential thread of aesthetic foundation over which rises the art of the Indian Nation in various eras. Each artist in this show serves as a visual link that forms a continuous chain in which dynamic rhythm vibrates with static vigour. Continuity of this thread re-establishes the strength and Indian-ness of Indian art, today.”

Adding another dimension to the show is a workshop at The Children’s Garden, a Taaleem School, where students aged two to seven years will be encouraged to create their own interpretations of Chowdhury’s paintings. The work of these budding artists will be showcased alongside the masterpieces that are part of “Kala Sutra” on the last day of the show, and sold in a silent auction with the proceeds going to an orphanage in India.

Rachna Chadha, founder and CEO of BAQAA Glamour Weddings & Events, says, “BAQAA endeavours to provide happy, eternal memories through its designs and experiences created for weddings. Our association with Sanchit Art, which began with their inaugural show in Dubai last year, is a platform which helps us give our clients another level of timeless impressions that find a place in their heart and home.”

Jyoti Kalsi is an arts enthusiast based in Dubai.

“Kala Sutra, Dubai” will run at RIRA art gallery, DIFC, from October 15 to October 20.

A celebration of Islamic culture

London-based Ahlan Art Gallery is presenting “Spirit of Islam”, an exhibition of artworks that embody the essence of Islamic culture. The show, which has been organised in collaboration with Sarah Jordan Associates, features acrylic, ink and mixed media paintings, photography, digital works and sculptures by artists from across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the UK.

These include Peter Gould from Australia, Indian artists Surekha Sadana and Salva Rasool, British artists Siddiqa Juma and Raanaz Shahid, American artists Salma Arastu and Saima Qureshi, Lulwa Al Khalifa from Bahrain and Maryam Golubeva from Russia.

Hassan Mawji, co-founder of Ahlan Art, says, “Ahlan Art aims to give a voice to emerging artists, and to create opportunities to highlight the intricate nature of Islamic art. We have a roster of over 40 established and emerging artists of different nationalities and religious backgrounds. Besides presenting exhibitions, we also work closely with creatives to inspire a new generation of artists, and together create a new narrative for Islamic art.

“For this show, we have selected 35 pieces from our collection of over 400 works of Islamic art to showcase the diversity and colour of Islam. The sense of peace conveyed by Islamic art can be felt by all viewers regardless of their faith, hence we believe that all art lovers will be able to relate to the artworks in this show.”

The show celebrates Islamic culture through photographs of mosques, paintings incorporating verses from the Quran and abstract works reflecting the essence of the Haj. Highlights include Siddiqa Juma’s painting “Supernova”, which is a moving depiction of the Kaaba, surrounded by a radiant energy flowing in and out of the centre; and Salma Arastu’s new series of paintings titled “Celebration of Calligraphy”.

“This series aims to enlighten and awaken the spiritual connection of universal humanity through lyrical and fluid imagery of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic patterns. I paint to express the prayers of my heart and intend for the energy of the calligraphy powered by the positive messages from the texts to reveal the joy and celebration that I experience while creating them,” Arastu says.

Saima Qureshi conveys a universal message of positivity and hope through her work. “My painting ‘Koh-e-Qaf’ is about a beautiful faraway land, inhabited by dreams and fairies. It represents the distance one can travel in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations in life. And through ‘Poetry, 00031-33’ I want to say that life is a beautiful poem full of colour and patterns. We should let go of unpleasant experiences and fill our memories with happy moments to see the magic unfold,” she says.

–Jyoti Kalsi

“Spirit of Islam” will run at the Warwick Hotel, Shaikh Zayed Road until October 18.