Art has always been a sanctuary for troubled souls, a medium through which artists can express their deepest fears, anxieties, and innermost thoughts. When their creations resonate with others, they become havens of understanding and solace. It is within this realm of artistic expression that Sakshi Gupta's latest exhibition, If the Seas Catch Fire, operates. In this debut solo exhibition at Experimenter Colaba, Mumbai, Gupta delves into the disconnect one experiences within themselves, exploring the turmoil it creates and bringing to the forefront the constant background suffering that plagues us all.
Gupta's sculptures in this exhibition are ambitious creations meticulously fashioned from repurposed industrial metal, scavenged concrete, and stoneware. They arise from her encounters with the perpetual ebb and flow of countless beginnings and endings happening simultaneously, sparking a profound longing to transcend the literal. The challenge of comprehending the intricacies of the human experience is vividly conveyed through a diverse range of comparisons. A tumultuous, suffocating mental state is embodied in the form of a sprawling chicken coop on a grand scale, while a state of mind overwhelmed by complexity transforms into a dishevelled carpet. These depictions dissolve the boundaries between mundane inanimate objects and the existence of animals, humans, and plants, enabling the self to exist and be represented in a broader, less constrained context.
In Gupta's art, we witness the contrast between chaos and beauty, experiencing life in its full spectrum, from splendor to dread, and everything in between. The patterns of certainty and passion collide with assurance and then fade into uncertainty. While grappling with existential challenges, Gupta's work oscillates between the irrational, grotesque, pathetic, and the seductive, poetic, and comical, all simultaneously. Amidst this complexity, a quest for peace and reconciliation emerges, emphasizing the profound need for love, which is at the core of our existence.
Gupta's art explores visual and tactile contradictions and complexities through the sculptural reinterpretation of everyday objects. By juxtaposing materials in unexpected ways, she challenges the boundaries between art and life, encouraging viewers to reevaluate what is typically overlooked or considered obsolete. At the heart of her practice lies found materials, each bearing its own history, unraveling notions of transience, resilience, and permanence.
In If the Seas Catch Fire, Sakshi Gupta invites us to journey through the labyrinth of the human psyche, where suffering and serenity coexist, and where art becomes a vessel for understanding our deepest selves. Gupta's work serves as a mirror, reflecting the complexities of our existence and inviting us to embrace the discomfort and beauty that lie within. As she continues to recycle and transform industrial materials into art, she not only reimagines the past but also redefines the present, giving new meaning to the overlooked and discarded remnants of our world.
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