I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Beauty of Innocence (The Bazaar Walk)

The Bazaar Walk, on the footpath of Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi, May 23rd, 2014

"We may cherish every moment with each countless blooms of happiness of Nature…enter the cosmos of light enter in deep trance and I think this what bliss might mean and innocence of life mean."

The third intervention was in front of famous Bull Temple footpath, which is also a tourist spot, people around there made a mixed crowd, locals and tourists together. Metaphorically it was to connect the culture and beauty of the space, the flower market, and the vibrant color of Kumkum, the smell of flowers and essence of traditional area. Every time I pass by the Gandhi Bazaar market I sense a new life within me.

This performance was meant to highlight the charm of Gandhi Bazaar, which was an element of inspiration for this performance. The flower is very essential part of our culture and customs of the area. This event was also to metaphorically connect to the pure quality of flowers with the innocence of young children; it is basically to cherish the charm of innocence both in human and plant form. The presence of flowers, the life they symbolize, vibrant colors, and the fragrances bring out the best in life and celebrate beauty in all its glory. At another level it also connects to poets of the place and their poetry, how their poetry spread like fragrance through communities. Although a flower’s life span is short, it enhances our life with happiness. I dressed up with my hair in long plaits which I could adorn with wonderful flowers. I intentionally used elongated plaits to metaphorically show the extension of the celebration of happiness as well as innocence, and usually we exaggerate things when we celebrate. I distributed paper fans which had images of flower sellers and flowers.

My personal making of paper fans involved a ritualistic act of involving myself in an unselfish act of innocence over the period of a week. I could see the effect that the process had on me when I observed the photographs of the performance later. Next day my happiness reflected on my face during the performance. It is a personal journey to go within and search for those emotions and also reconnect to your childhood days. The Bull Temple was my favorite spot during my childhood days when I used to visit with my cousin sister to play in Bugle Rock; it was like revisiting the time again.

Every time I pass by the Gandhibazaar market I sense a new life within me. This performance is basically to highlight the charm of Gandhibazaar, and became an element of inspiration for this performance work. This performance will metaphor-ically connect to innocence quality of flower with young children, it is basically to cherish the beauty of innocence both in human and plant form.

The presence of flowers, The Life, Vibrant Colors, The Fragrances brings the life to its best form and celebrate the beauty in all its forms and at another level it also connects to poets, how their poetry spreads like fragrances of life. Although flower’s life span is short, they enchant our life with happiness. The small wind fan as a messenger…spreads the essence in the air. The red attire is to celebrate the life and warmness. The long hair plaits is extension of happiness and celebration.

Dimple B Shah

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Shadows Of The Past

Footpath next to Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Circle, Basavanagudi, Bangalore, 2014

The second intervention of performance was basically to have interactive interventions with senior citizens who could share oral history of their period share more stories and talk about the time their experience. This performance was about making space for interaction and exchange ideas about the past with the people who have lived and experienced it. This space there was mix of present and past and future in making. This installation was traditional Chappra usually built for marriage occasion but I used it as small Mantapa, a stage where people could come and relax, hear audio, read books and also share their experiences and stories. So it was like small Palce to Sit (Katte) could come and relax. I had also lot of small book to read about philosophy, yoga and poems of DVG- Mannku Thimanna Kagga etc.

After the first event there was feedback from audience and the art fraternity. There were also demands from the public to give them space to share their experiences. I gave thought to it and carefully brought these elements into the program and reworked it along with the already planned second performance. The idea was to build a coconut leaf ‘Chappra’ (traditional festive shelter) and have seating arrangements for senior citizens in it so that they could enter into the shade, relax and hear an audio track before moving forward.

By improvising and modifying my idea to involve senior citizens for conversation, I gained the opportunity to document oral histories of the past of Basavangudi as experienced and remembered by them, since they were witness to it. 

The experience of this long duration interaction and performance was valuable since many senior citizens came forward to share their histories. For those who came in the morning, I had prepared a Kannada script about my concept; it had information about my work. Many could not respond immediately since they were passing by with some other work in hand but they returned later in the afternoon and shared amazing stories.

One man told two stories, one about a snake that understood human language and another about a person who could turn water into yellow color with his magical powers. One more person who is a history teacher in a local college had lot to share about the place. Later a gentleman came up with his own poetry written spontaneously after reading my script, and using information from that. He shared this with Mamta Sagar and other people around. The traditional Mantapa was further used by Mamta Sagar for her performance to narrate a poem on 'Kansugallu' ('Dreams') which she had collected from public interaction. We had also given empty cards to people much before performance to write two lines about dreams and many contributed for it. In an interesting case one lady was hesitant to share her dreams and Mamta had to tell her own dreams in exchange, and then she was ready to share.

I felt the Mantappa had created a great platform, a space where past, present and future came together. I had great sense of satisfaction after doing this installation and performance, though initially it was a challenge to find the right people to construct it.

Dimple B Shah

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