Review by Tanishka D’Lyma
December 01, 2018


By  Tanishka D’Lyma


Four Conversations in a Room

N. Divya, Kim Seola, Ankush Safaya and Sonatina Mendes

Curated by Rekha Rodwittiya
October 31 to November 30, 2018
Sakshi Salon, Mumbai.


Art requires an interaction with the external governed by sight, sound, touch and ultimately formed thesis of the world recreated and told afresh to others living in it. Through art we look at the world from where another stands, it’s a new perspective for sore eyes. Imagine the views that the assembling, interaction and thereby creations of four very different artists could bring; of artists who partake in an intersection of ideas to renew their own. In Four Conversations in a Roomcurated by Rekha Rodwittiya, artists, contemporaries, N. Divya, Kim Seola, Ankush Safayaand Sonatina Mendesshowcase their work birthed through conversations and interactions at The Collective Studio Baroda. 


Excerpts from our interview with the four artists:

MOA: Where do you think your art overlaps or interacts to form the flow of conversation. What is the thread of uniformity?

N Divya:I am interested in objects that we have with us in our daily life. Objects that others may take for granted. I find it fascinating to view these objects as receptacles of wider meanings, invested with histories of personal associations and informed by the narratives from where they belong. I observe the intricacies of their details… The three artists I am showing with in this exhibition hold an equal intensity with which they observe. It is this factor of focused enquiry and the obsessively detailed rendering of articulation that is a commonly shared space within our works.

Sonatina Mendes: I believe that each one of us holds as relevant the quiet observation of life in the everyday. Discourses about shared spaces of perception and belief are often exchanged [among] us. Maybe, understanding that we share these common grounds is one of the reasons for us to articulate our visual languages so differently. Each of our works in the show is therefore like a mosaic pattern that makes up this collective whole.

MOA: A conversation will include a statement or a question and a response to it. Where do you see yourself fit into the sequence of it all?

Ankush Safaya:The conversation is a metaphor that the curator has used to underline the formal relationship of language that interweaves itself between the four of our practices. Detailed observations of objects or situations are a crucial connective between the works and sensory responses and tactile evocations steer meanings away from the literal. Like a musical quartet with four differing musical instruments, this exhibition curates a cohesiveness that places each of us inhabiting the space of our independence yet simultaneously forming
a collective space of interactive sharing.

Kim Seola:Many things serve as the vehicle that provokes responses within one, and as an artist, I search to make those essential choices that allow me to hold the physical experience of every moment. Conversation is for me a space of contemplation to arrive at many worlds of knowing and to re-examine ongoing realities with my personal politics. The conversation to a closer intimacy of engagement with the four of us has been personally very influential in shaping our world of learning and keeping us stringently accountable for our journey as an artist, through the witnessing of the sustained everyday ritual of a studio practice.


MOA: It is only inevitable to form a camaraderie with your peers. What do you give to and take from your contemporaries?

N Divya:As artists, sharing studio spaces provided the platform for engaging in communication and the exchange of ideas. We have not only worked within shared studio spaces in The Collective Studio Baroda but also lived together as artists there too, where the daily routine of life taught us not just about art but more importantly about knowing ourselves. We learnt too from each other. By the osmosis of trust and respect and through the ideas of sharing. Living collectively opened up a large space of interactions where one constantly is open to discovering and questioning our individual areas of concern. We are first and foremost friends and this is why this exhibition is extremely special for me.

Kim Seola:Along with the history of The Collective Studio Baroda, there are many artists who have participated and belonged. However, in this show, four artists were selected who hold certain specific and shared concerns. We have shared the enhancement of our own languages and a space of personal discoveries and developing our own intellectual faculties. I look at the work of N.Divya who deals with the object as portraits of the absent, Ankush who deals with the rhythms of lines with mechanical concerns, Sonatina who deals with memories as questioning the form of the given object, and I deal with the issues of vulnerabilities through the microscopic observations. These are all connected with the observations within their own belongings and surroundings and translated into a consciousness which has grown attentive by each methodology.