The imaginative configurations of sensorial memory of cultural landscapes in the artistic creations of Anindita Bhattacharya, Pandit Khairnar and Shaurya Kumar strive to transform loss into gain, sorrow into consolation and the past into redemptive visions of the present and future. In the Indian imagination, representational landscape, whether real or imagined, are at the heart of critical inquiry in the formation and re-construction of identities through markers of differences in social and cultural processes. Narratives of identity are constructed through conflict, whether it be through the evolution of species over time through the metaphor of the lunar nodes as in Bhattacharya’s ‘Thick As Guilt’; or in the memory of history and artifact as in Shaurya Kumar’s ‘If In A Sacred Land A Traveller’. Contested interpretations of the legacies intwined in the man-made and the natural world emphasize the highly complex, multifaceted encounters that we perceive in their works. Bhattacharya’s artistic background in the tradition-based contemporary art of the Indian miniature style stretches and explores the figurative and representational trope into interlocking cycles perpetually under construction. Kumar uses a variety of mediums in his artmaking indicating presence, absence and the transient displacements over time.
Visual, sensorial and tactile components of landscape come together in the works of Pandit Khairnar illuminating transmutations of memory and nostalgia. Khairnar’s symbolic and non-representational approach contrasts with that of Bhattacharya and Kumar and yet dovetails with their metaphors of the palimpsest of power and control, loss and longing. This intertextuality has a profound impact on the readings of meaning in this collection of works. The world is constantly refashioned by human agency. The cultural process of complex and constant dyadic shuttling between ideas and material allows for dualistic interpretations to emerge that nurtures this new vision.