Review by Oiendrila Moitra
September 14, 2013


Writing Room
Manmeet Devgan
April 10-May 10, 2013
Abadi Art Space, Lado Sarai, New Delhi

For artist Manmeet Devgan, “Re-Construction” is an on-going development of exploring her personal self in the realm of the practical world around her, where she tends to lose her identity, her believes, but at the same time develops a confidence of survival.

Manmeet’s making comes from the unconscious state of her mind where the unsaid words find a place to get expressed, where the version of the society she sees, comes in a real format.  Experiences fetched from her memory have developed themselves in the visual format of expression.

Manmeet’s works develops themselves. Her works evolves and are not made. They are examples of complete artistic process where the artist has freed her memory and emotions to create something extra-ordinarily real. “Turban” is a work where her process-based practice can well be realised. She did a performance in NGMA with a red turban people clicked images from her, from there she got the idea of displaying the turban cloth as it has been displayed in the gallery, suggesting to a strong pathway of a strict journey with a written script on it. The cloth to her is a metaphor of her past show, a bygone journey of which it carries much important experiential memory.

Stitching is an important element to her. It carries her family expertise on the subject as her mother stitched beautifully. It is something that she has got genetically. She stitched her memories and experiences in form of poems. Poems that she has started to write only couple of years ago are expression of her deepest thoughts, her straight-forward outlook towards the society. She has used silk as a common medium for her work and silk have a metaphorical dialogue carrying with it. Silk is a very open cloth, an identity of the glamour world, of display-ism. Again Manmeet’s mother used to wear silk in occasions and for the artist it carries sweet innocent memories.

Manmeet’s materials carries memories, some very emotional and sentimental, some very sarcastic, some very public. The pain as well as her freedom of being a single in her relationship status, the fact that she expresses with utter confidence lies in undertone of her works. The journey of her through the struggles to developing into womanhood is a strong temperament that a viewer can feel visiting her working space in Abadi gallery. For her spontaneity in her processes is important, the building of a mind, the bringing up of a journey ids essential. Words disappear into infinity of spaces as they are freed to complete by themselves with time. If for Manmeet words and poems are an essential form of expression, the poems are stitched that cannot be erased, some poems again are erased intentionally as to represent the fade of time.

Manmmet Devgun is a hard-core process-based artist. The process is not of developing her visual works to display, but process to her is a bigger entity, a bigger idea, the idea of continuing to search for her inner self, to establish herself distinctly in the external world of struggle and power. It is a process of re-establishing, re-constructing the Self.