Carrying an impassioned curiosity for discovering beauty in the mundane, Bakula Nayak, currently based in Pittsburgh, is a multimedia artist who weaves together her own personal histories by layering old and contemporary literature, intercepted letters and discarded papers together. Originally from Bangalore, the artist gave up a successful design career in communications and began a decade-long journey of living with chronic pain.
Their upcoming exhibition ‘I am ok, and other lies I tell’ showcases Bakula’s new figurative work, which she informally refers to as her ‘body series’, wherein the artist explores themes of synergy between the individual and the collective, and the experiences of women in contemporary cultural and psycho-social situations. Furthermore, the profound approach to inventing visual vocabulary re-contextualises human experiences by encapsulating pivotal and emotional transitions in her practice.
Instead of engaging in escapist fantasies, Bakula faces the realities of her body, with its complicated health issues; treading the line of the irreconcilable dichotomy between her physical self and mental self; who she appears to be versus who she feels she is. They create the sensation of caging, bearing complexions of fear, isolation and incompleteness through the artwork.
The artworks themselves are created with great depth as there are three-dimensional expressions in her assemblages that feature found objects coveted from a variety of sources such as thrift stores and garage sales. Bakula re-incarnates these whimsical objects into surveyors of daydreaming, illusion, and fantasy that prioritise internal logic and emotion over an effect of reality.
With her ‘body series’, the artist urges us to consider the importance of being heard, in addition to being seen, as a fundamental and complete gesture towards consecrating one’s presence. The exhibition will be on display from October 12 to November 12 2022 at the Anand Niketan centre in New Delhi.
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