46 Pillars: Sheetal Gatani
Chemould Prescott Road re-envisioned itself into an open studio as artist Sheetal Gattani created her site-specifiic installation titled 46 Pillars over the last three months. The gallery walls will also house her new body of drawings, White Grass, where white paper and charcoal found their way as layers upon layers were unpeeled to give these works their unique materiality.
Bombay has eclecitcally been a muse to the artist for decades. Yet again, it hands its reins of stirring visual imagery to Gattani, who employs it as a metaphor for the ordindary day-to-day life. Be it a cutting chai cocooned in its wire frame, a fiber-optic lit seashore skyline, which meets a scribbled spiral-bound notebook and a ticking clock. For 3 months, Gattani has summarised and re-imagined the city facets into 46 pillars and 20 vantage points.
She ironically lugs fettered aspects of the city outside, to the spaces within the gallery, allowing a new lease of appreciation for them. What ensures is a transformative experience of seeing ambiguous familiarity turn into sublime rediscovery.
Traversing the simple and comforting path of a city’s daily routine, she has fashioned the many landscapes one encounters in the schisms of everyday urban life. Her motifs rely from mundane to imaginitive, realistic to idealistic and somber to quirky in a matter of moments.
Gattani’s own understanding of the transitory nature of human perspectives has crafted itself into this project. The spirit of the audience in claiming ownership of such an eclectic project, shone through with the anecdotes they shared with her. Over the last few weeks, she grew with these interactions: for example, she learnt that the cutting chai is called the ‘two-by-three’ in Delhi; she was the catalyst in engaging sculpture students who were eager to help. She was suffused with a sense of pleasure and satisfaction at having drawn in a wide stratum of people in the course of the construction/installation in the gallery.
Values of objects and experiences that were once routine and mundane, can now begin to hold immense significance. This change in perspective is the sublime thought Gattani hopes to leave audiences with.
Collaborative piece by Kanika Tibrewala and Shaleen Wadhwana