– A GALE event of Art and Literature
“Masks we wear, the many faces for many occasions. Infinite expressions for varied emotions…a hundred different people within one simple person.”
– Rashmi Bhadkamkar
Gyaan Adab held its first event of GALE (Gyaan Adab Library Evenings) on Saturday, September 6, 2014 with the opening on Rashmi Bhadkamkar’s exhibition of terracotta masks mounted on hand painted boards, titled ‘Masked in Nature’. The evening was delightful mix of art and literature. Rashmi’s marks gave the viewer glimpses of faces within nature and forced one to let one’s imagination wander. Rashmi spoke about her inspiration behind her exhibited work and the thought behind each piece. In her words, her work ‘Masked in Nature’ indicates: “Sometimes pebbles turn into faces part or whole, while roots and earth take on the impressions of an enduring old soul. Trees dance to form flowing hair for a face in the cloudy sky while tendrils and twigs are outlines of a face to the watchful eye. And when the trees become treated wood and stones turn to broken floor tiles, I see faces touched by human hands more structured and elaborate, they seem to my discerning eye. As the water flows, the earth folds, and the winds rustles, these images appear to quickly disappear; just like the fleeting expressions on the faces of you and I.”
The idea of a ‘mask’ has intrigued many writers and manifests itself in many popular writings. The art exhibit created a perfect setting for literary readings exploring this theme. The readings comprised of excerpts from book in the Gyaan Adab Library collection. Varsha Rakesh Shinde commenced GALE, reading from Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. “…Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.” Kalpana Subramaniam then unmasked the Dalai Lama from Interviews with History and Conversations with Power by Oriana Fallaci. Namita Singh reading out an Oriya story titled ‘The Mask’ by Satkadi Hota from ‘Beyond the Roots’ compiled by Kishori Charan Das. The readings ended with Saurabh Dalmiya’s passionate reading of a passage from ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ by Oscar Wilde.
The readings were followed by a discussion with the artist, for a while there the viewers set aside their many masks and bared their thoughts and opinions on the art work and the excerpts that were read.