Shimla: It was a treat for the art lovers here to watch the artistic work of Shimla Arts Group showcasing culture, traditions, and the burning problems of Himachal Pradesh. The themes had a very vide range from simplicity of Himachali people to beautiful landscapes, forest fire, indiscriminate deforestation, dancing girls, Buddhist culture, motherhood, village life, manuscripts and even horses.
The exquisite painting exhibition of seven budding artists from Shimla became the centre of the attraction for the people of Shimla and the tourists from different states and abroad at the historic State Museum on 23rd May, 2009. The exhibition entitled “Metascapes”- thoughts beyond the imagination, was inaugurated by prominent disability rights activist and associate professor of journalism in Himachal Pradesh University, Ajai Srivastava. Exhibition showcased forty-four paintings of different sizes in the gallery of the museum.
Pictures by Amit Kanwar
The group comprised seven young and budding artists who had already performed at national level exhibitions in Chandigarh, Delhi and Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar. The artists behind these paintings stated that the main aim of this exhibition is to promote the culture and tradition of Himachal Pradesh. Chaman Sharma’s bright hues and cool tints of nature in water colors; especially in the night scene of the colonial structure of scandal point in watercolors is quite attractive. There reflects serenity and solitude of Shimla in Danny B Singh’s watercolor paintings. Sudershan’s work depicts his love for nature and environment as all his compositions are related to the surroundings of the nature. Bahadur Sngh Chamkila’s work was based on the folk life of the village. Mujeeb Husain portrayed his affection and concerns for environment, through his black and white pen drawings and vibrant hues of color mix media especially in the painting “Forest under Fire”. He also depicted his feelings and emotions through his pen drawings, minute work of shading and lining the trees describing the role of the human in exploitation of the trees and green environment. Another message of conservation of heritage is given in the paintings of Amit Kanwar, who illustrated the theme of conserving the ancient heritage of manuscripts in Himachal.
Neha Sharma, the only female artist in the Shimla Arts Group, beautifully painted the different moods of women. Rhythm of merged female figures in background shows the joy in colorful harmony, that is her expression and way of her life. Woman trapped in the forms of colorful world of thorns and roses representing the society lonely and solely which Neha Sharma depicted in her paintings.
The exhibition was also witnessed by Dr. Him Chatterjee, chairman, Department of Visual Arts, and senior artist Eliza B Singh. Ajai Srivastava who inaugurated the exhibition praised the efforts of young artists; he said, “I appreciate the endeavors of the members of the Shimla Arts Group who organized the painting exhibition without receiving help from any organization or the government to promote the art. The exhibition is worth watching for school and college students also.”