Opened on the 18th of December, Gyaan Adab hosted its first and last art exhibition of the year 2019, re:FRAME, as a part of the weeklong programming of The Heroine’s Journey. Sourcing artwork from across the country, Gyaan Adab put up 25 pieces of artwork that spanned various mediums, art styles and color palettes that were united with a single theme: the redefinition of the perception of the heroine.
Artists from Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune sent in submissions through a closed call; and blew us away with their talent.
The Heroine’s Journey itself was an arts festival that combined academic discourse and visual and performing arts to incite a dialogue about the representation of heroines across ages and social stages.
Curated in tandem with TIFA Working Studios, a multi-disciplinary platform for creativity and culture here in Pune, the exhibition was a month and a half in the making, and culminated in its inauguration on the 18th of December.
The preparation for the exhibition was an unanticipated rush with the printing, mounting and display of the artwork done in cautious haste. Despite having some hitches along the way, the blood, sweat and tears of the team had the setup on the fast track; and we hurtled into opening day.
The first curated walk was hosted by Hina Siddiqui, head of programming here at Gyaan Adab. An in-depth explanation about the artwork itself and its relevance in the context of the Heroine’s Journey was given for each work, and allowed for all the guests to simultaneously learn more about the artworks, and to create their own interpretations of the work.
The next day of the exhibition saw Gyaan Adab inviting students from the Nagarwalla day school in Kalyani Nagar for a curated walk. Headed by their guide, Arman Chagla, the group perused the pieces with wonder and glee. Made highly interactive for the students, the walk had them answering questions with their hands in the air before the sentence was even over, eager to share; and redefining their perceptions of the worth of women in society before their own eyes. A visiting artist, Mr. Tamboli chose to hold a small informal calligraphy workshop with the kids, wrapping up their visit to Gyaan Adab with a flourish.
The next few days passed in the blink of an eye; events everyday had us interacting with every individual to walk through our doors, all of whom appreciated the art, and the sentiment behind their display.
The works spanned digital work, photographs, analog work done in acrylic, fresco styles, as well as charcoal, ink, sketchpens and collage art, and was a visual treat with its variety.
Of our artists in residence, Fariha Chagla; a Pune-based artist, created an installation for the space. Inspired by She Ra, the character from the retro comics which was recently revamped by Netflix for an animated series, the installation featured She Ra in all her glory in the center of a multilayered frame.
Of all the artworks displayed, 6 were chosen to be official The Heroine’s Journey merchandise, and are available at the Gyaan Adab premises for purchase. Carousel, our merchandising partner, provided us with some beautiful notebooks and postcards of our artists’ work.
The exhibition drew to a close on the last day of The Heroine’s Journey, the 21st of December with bittersweet end; we were sad to bid farewell to an activity we truly poured our heart and soul into, but glad it had been met with the reception we hoped it would be.