Not all that many artists concern themselves much with the urban pedestrian, except to call his attention to the few architectural beauties and multiple horrors that surround him on his 'to-ings and fro-ings'. Thus artists, who protest vehemently against the drab and sordid facade of our hectic times, therefore do a service to society and social living. In Suchismita Sahoo's oils we observe two conjoined faces of the reality, we presently live in. The first and the everlasting one so far is the integrity of nature, of her flora and fauna – bees, birds, beasts, trees, bushes, flowers, the hitherto limpid waters, and the blemishless skies, etc. In all this we sense a calmer, sweeter and more spacious way of life and living. It is this world we constantly turn to after our trying, exhausting labours of sheer survival.
That being so, the artist meaningfully juxtaposes such pure enchantment with its obverse, namely with the distress at and the horror with the plastic that proliferate like weeds in the calmly flowing stream of time. She intends to show the pollution that, through thick and thin abets in the feel of cheapness. The cheapy feel in current living is there for all to see. The revolting can be sensed right in the pit our stomachs. How mindless have we not become, in our search for convenient, time-saving useful objects. However the artist is just and not merely attacking the very existence of synthetic polymers. In her note on her work she finds the plastic enormously enabling for a whole kind of human activity. She is right. However she also realizes that reckless commerce has not taken account of sundry sordid aspects of the material when marketing it. I would say such is its color or hue: Texture matters enormously even as you translate an old time earthen vessel from plain clay into plastic. So that only certain objects from the long past can be meaningfully cast into synthetics – I mean engagingly. The values of
utilitarian service, and those of the contemplative eye better not to be severed, else humanity sooner or later goes berserk. The former value or values are for our material well being, the latter for our emotional or spiritual one. Both better be yoked as a harmonious team.
In the painter's work, we notice an endless number of ingenious plastic products doing the rounds of the city in the hands of humbler seeming folk. By their toil the plastic object gets into the nook and corner of each Indian town and city, giving it a different tone and color than what the natural objects (like wood terracotta or stone) did. Also, even birds and beasts, then begin to take recourse to the cast away plastics to build nests, and beasts to tongue it, if not swallow it. Well, animals or birds in tête-à-tête with plastic objects certainly seem quaint. The flow of civilization changes even the non-human to some extent. These of the painter's works, then, have a bearing upon our future time on earth, and need to be mulled over by all its children. Her work helps give a better sense of proportion to these vital matters. She quickens our sensibilities in order that we hesitate to inflict upon others things that make us wince. It should reveal to us the value of moderation and the beauty of orderliness. By showing a dark aspect, she paradoxically restores our sense of experience that we endeavor to preserve. Only by thus highlighting the two sides of a coin do we become conscious, and then go on to alleviate dire poverty as well ensure our private delight. The artist obliquely instructs us, with the truths she imparts, even as she surprises us with the odd combination: of the mother earth born, along with those objects come of the human brain.
Fellow, Lalit Kala Academy
This Show will continue from 27 March to 31st March 2010
At: Open Palm Court Gallery, IHC, Loadhi Road, New Delhi