Dhoomimal Gallery, in collaboration with Cultivate Art, is set to unveil its highly anticipated exhibition, “Exodus,” featuring the captivating works of celebrated artist Rewati Shahani at Dhoomimal Gallery (DMG). This immersive exhibition is scheduled to run from December 8 to December 29, 2023.
“Exodus” marks a continuation of Rewati Shahani’s profound exploration of human geography, delving into the complexities of displacement, refuge, and diaspora within both colonial and contemporary contexts. The artist poses thought-provoking questions about the meaning of displacement, examining the dynamics of individuals forced to become refugees and the intricate tapestry of diasporic experiences. Who holds the power to make such decisions?
Shahani’s artistic expression takes the form of maps, ranging from intricate to abstract, challenging the ethno-political boundaries of the 20th century and scrutinizing their impact on the 21st century, particularly resonating across South Asia and the recent struggles in Palestine.
The “Exodus” series also expands its thematic scope to encompass new global phenomena, such as the staggering number of people displaced due to climate change. According to the UN Refugee Agency, tens of millions are currently displaced, with projections surpassing one billion by 2050. Shahani’s work reflects on this contemporary crisis, highlighting the entanglement between Europe and its former subjects. The narratives depicted transcend the pursuit of prosperity, focusing on the fundamental human necessity that drives individuals from the global south northward, leaving behind dried-up riverbeds and scorched earth memorialized in the cracks and crazing of Shahani’s photographic prints.
In a return to geological imagery, Shahani employs layered oil paintings and earthen ceramic sculptures. Standalone stones, cliffs, and mountains disrupt horizons, showcasing their raw and natural grandeur in stark contrast to the arbitrary contours of manmade nations. This collection presents a more optimistic vision for the future—one built not on the need to flee but on the freedom to explore.
“Exodus” promises to be a captivating and thought-provoking journey through Shahani’s artistic lens, inviting viewers to reflect on the profound narratives of displacement and the resilience of the human spirit. The exhibition invites art enthusiasts and the public alike to witness the powerful convergence of art and socio-political commentary.