In the spirit of promoting the works of recent art graduates and at the same time, connecting young first-time collectors with affordable artworks, Vadodara-based Gallery Ark has launched their first virtual exhibition titled ‘Embark III’ for the promising talent of the Faculty of Fine Arts.
This annual exhibition spotlights a selection of young artists, a year after they complete the Masters programme at the institution. This year, the show has taken on a whole new form, reflecting the reality of the times and the necessity to follow a more pared-down approach.
Being home-bound in the past few months for extended periods of time has sparked self-reflection and introspection. The word ‘normal’ finds new meaning as we slowly settle into new methods and schedules. In adjusting with this new lifestyle, several topics have surfaced, drawing attention, and encouraging dialogue.
The body and its occupations; the engagement of the individual with their own bodies and the increased distances (social and physical) between bodies, have cropped up in discussions. From initial instructions by health officials and government agencies about hand hygiene and avoiding touching the face to suggestions on even how to hug during a pandemic, the body and its health are at the centre of the new habits we now develop.
According to the gallery, the works presented in this edition of Embark come from the artists’ preoccupations and areas of inquiry over the past two or three years, now viewed through the prism of our current reality. While each artist brings their individual inquiries to the table, the change in status quo encourages us to view all these works through a common lens. The denominator here being, spaces; bodies; and their relation.
Gallery Director Nupur Dalmia said, “Every year, a new crop of young artists graduate; the year after graduation is often a difficult and tumultuous time for them. As a part of the contemporary art ecosystem, we felt it was important to create a platform to support promising talent at this critical point in their careers, which is what led us to create “Embark” as an annual exhibition. This year, the logistics of selection and display were much trickier, but we are delighted to finally have been able to pull off the exhibition in its digital iteration. We hope the curation will excite our audience and be a valuable source of support for this wonderful group of artists.”
The works of art have been priced affordably, with most under Rs 10,000. The gallery said all proceeds from the sale of artworks will go directly to the artists.