Review by Amrita Varma
February 15, 2014


Between the Sky and Earth
Ranjani Shettar
January 29-March 29, 2014
Talwar Gallery, New Delhi

When one enters the walls of the gallery at Talwar, one finds a restful cove on the side with these quaint flowerlike forms delicately beckoning one for a closer look. On going closer one can see the shadows and the work entwined and the work speaks true to its title, ‘Stonewall’s Bloom’.

With such an entry one is set to experience the floaty forms of the wood structures aptly named Between the sky and Earth.Ranjani has done well in the abstraction of the forms, which hang and surround you floating and making one feel suspended in a delightful manner where thoughts are omnipresent entities.

At the edge is a work whose lacquered yellow bulbous forms sprout as latent dream fragments coming out of the wood. The work is aptly titled ‘Reminisce of Last Night’s Dream’. Another work in the same series talks of the same revalidation of thoughts reaching and oozing out of the dream- like solid yet polished block of dark wood.

In the inner room on the corner of the wall is a work made of wood as if stretching itself tight and the form feels ripe with tension. Titled ‘ Tendo’ the work is fused with a latent yet toned aggressive energy,which seeps through the cords of wood as if stretching the corner of the wall and at the same time bringing it closer. But this feeling of a movement is painfully slow and not a fast violent one.

‘Torque’ is another work, which in its abstract form displays aninert aggressiveness ready to be released. It is interesting to note that the works in this exhibition have both, a certain airiness yet a heaviness which is earthy and virile sneaking up upon you slowly. This shift in Ranjani’s work from her previous body of work is exciting and leaves one a little unsettled as if trying to, yet unable to fathom the depths.

The untitled work in the basement reminds one of footsteps which sprout the subconscious energies going and coming towards you at the same time as if tracing memories embedded within that heavy wood.

There are these whispered conversations in wood titled ‘Between the Edges' in another corner and the world seems to spin with silent voices not released yet speaking, transient and shifty, just when you feel you can grasp its nuances.