Flocking through existential crisis

Ojas Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, inspired by a sufi fable, showcases the responses of different communities in times of crisis like the pandemic and climate change

Named after the sufi fable ‘The Conference of the Bird’s, written by Farid-ud-Din Attar that tells the story of the assembly of birds in times of existential crisis, Ojas Art Gallery presents an exhibition in association with The Yuva Ekta Foundation.

They embark on a journey in search of a mythical majestic bird, the Simorgh, and are led by the wisest bird through seven valleys to find the Simorgh/ enlightenment. Each Valley has a challenge and an exploration into who we are and what we can become. 

Inspired by the same, this  is a conference of artists and communities gathered as an international collaborative that will create a global network to explore new forms of engagement, creation, performance, and online digital experiences. 

The exhibition presents artworks by a mix of 16 indigenous and contemporary urban artists namely – Abhishek Singh, Bhajju Shyam, GR Iranna, Jagannath Panda, Madhvi Parekh, Lado Bai, Manjunath Kamath, Mayank Shyam, Mayur and Tushar Vayeda, Pravathy Baul, Rameshwar Broota, Ranbir Kaleka, Santosh Kumar Das, Sudipta Das, Venkat Shyam and Waswo X Waswo & R Vijay. 

“Working on this exhibition has been interesting as we are presenting the works of indigenous and contemporary urban artists together. The artists have responded to the concept in unique ways and even though the works are visually very different, they are complementary to each other in a rather sublime way,” says Anubhav Nath, Director of Ojas Art. 

In the Contemporary Urban artists, the curated selection includes artworks by senior artists such as Rameshwar Broota who was very intrigued by the concept of the book and how the book was being translated into an exhibition; the other artists showcasing their artworks include Manjunath Kamath; Waswo X Waswo; GR Iranna; Madhvi Parekh; Sudipta Das to name a few. 

The Conference of the Birds is a Global Participatory Arts project led by Simon Sharkey, former Associate Director, National Theatre of Scotland, along with Artist-Educator Erica May from Canada. The project uses the poem and the framework of seven episodes to create responses from several different communities across the world, to the challenges faced when dealing with the impact of Covid 19.

“It has been truly enriching to explore the lives of the disadvantaged and marginalized through the lens of Covid and the Climate Change crises. The strength and fortitude with which they have tapped into hidden resources within themselves and built a network of support in their communities, is truly inspiring,” says Puneeta Roy, Project Director, India Chapter, The Conference of the Birds and Managing Trustee , The Yuva Ekta Foundation. 

The exhibition is on display at Ojas Art Gallery till November 7


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