Even since the lockdown was announced, those with latent artistic abilities indulged in efforts to improve their skills, and professional artists looked towards solitude and inspiration. The same was true for Monica Kharkar, an artist whose works will be exhibited at the 2022 Contemporary Art Exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
“The year 2020 has possibly been one of the most dramatic years in our lives. As an artist, I experienced mixed emotions about having to stay home. In those first few weeks, the lockdown felt like an incentive that gave me a chance to play and explore new techniques and media,” she says, adding, “For artists who were dependent on their art for survival, faced acute hardships during those days as exhibitions and shows were put on hold. The lockdown helped me to rediscover the artist in me and hone my creative skills.”
The exhibition, titled Sahayog, 2022 Contemporary Art exhibition, is a result of the efforts of acclaimed artist Satyendra. Rane. The endeavor, she says, is to encourage upcoming artists by giving them the same platform that established professionals have. “He has always believed that along with celebrated artists a platform should be provided for unknown and upcoming faces in the field of art, and Sahayog helps in bridging this gap. The part of the proceedings will be donated to Alert citizen forum, a government recognized NGO.”
With the way the last two years have passed, one must question whether virtual exhibitions are the future. “The opportunities and avenues for artists have multiplied in this time,” believes Kharkhar, a self-taught artist, who loves to experiment with “colours, mediums and textures inspired from nature and human forms”.
She further adds: “There are more methods in which art can be showcased and often-parallel shows are happening both online and offline. But majority of Indian artists still deal in traditional mediums like acrylic/oil on canvas that is best done justice to in a physical exhibition. Virtual exhibitions become easier to market to wider audiences. For me, even though people have a preference for virtual means of art viewing, they may not actually act upon it and indulge in such practices. Ultimately, viewing art in person reigns superior and in-person galleries and art fairs are irreplaceable.”
This 6th Edition of Sahayog will be showcasing artworks and sculptures of 40 artist from across the country. The show, that starts on January 11 will go on till January 17, will see the participation of artists Adyot Rajadhyaksha, Amberhuues Tania, Anupama Mandavkar, Arpita Kolhatkar, Arpito Gope, Arvind Kolapkar, Bhagyashri Choudhari, Deepa Hekre, Dr Shankar Sharma, Ganesh Hire, Ganpat Bhadke, Harshada Tondwalkar, Ishwar Shetty, Joe D’souza, Kariyappa Hanchinamani, Kasim Kanasavi, Monica Kharkar, Mukund Ketkar, Nandita Desai, Nishtha Jhunjhunwala, Niyati Gope, Onkar Murthy, Prasad Mane, Prashant Jadhav, Priya Kadu, Revathi Shivakumar, Sachin Kolhatkar, Satyendra Rane, Shahed Pasha, Shreela Ghosh, Shubham Kesur, Sneha Nikam, Sumant Shetty, Sunil Vinekar, Surendra Jagtap, Ujwala Kumar, Vaishali Kanade and Vidhi Doshi.