Artist: Avinash Veeraraghavan
When: November 25 – January 7
Avinash ‘Avi’ Veeraraghavan’s new solo “finds him in a mature, quiet contemplative mood’, says a concept note by Arjun Jayadev. The subtext to his new works, however, remains as complex as ever. The show offers an immersive experience, rife with digital prints, wall vinyl, lights, laser cut veneer and printed fabric. In Jayadev’s words, Veeraraghavan’s new works speak of the fact that “life and personal history can bear multiple overlapping meanings that we impose on them, without any promise of coherence”.
1024 Names reflects the artist’s twin fascinations — the nature of religious content, and the dynamic digital world. Veeraraghavan’s creations are thus filled with images of religious, personal or universal significance, which are repeated, fragmented, layered and melded in a range of mediums.
The theme of densely placed mirrors recurs through the show. In Leela, strings of lights of the kind used in pujas and festivals are placed like they’re the roots of a banyan tree, while the mirrors refract and enlarge the image.
In the next piece, Spectrum, a series of crushed
cloth is placed in a frame, in a seemingly haphazard manner. The palette of colours was chosen from the Web, to imply a
range of ‘mood’ variations, found through keyword searches in a cloud-sourced public library.
The artist uses the same materials in Bhava, with striking printed images, again drawn from the Web, compacted together in frames. Monolith places images and patterns from disparate cultures in organic mash-ups. In effect, Japanese kimono prints are forcibly interwoven with Art Deco wallpaper, Indian floral and Islamic abstractions.
In Homeland, Veeraraghavan picks on a tent, thickly overlaid with images and visuals depicting his personal obsessions. “Esoteric Buddhist images, poster art, intricate floral paintings and pornography collide and overlap in an achingly vulnerable image of fragility,” describes Jayadev.
By contrast, Daybreak presents another image, as a laser cut, again dizzyingly over-rendered with images and prints, but this time bereft of colour. The effect is overwhelmingly one of loneliness.
Stardust offers a direct representation of the artist’s notions of “the breaking and remaking of meaning”, as the image of a mature tree with roots and branches is shown as a shattered mirror. The piece is laid on top of Infinite Disposition, a wallpaper composed entirely out of unique scans of graph paper.
1024 Names might well be the most perfected expression yet of Veeraraghavan’s practice, of over two decades of documenting his self-explorations.
At Galleryske, Langford Town. Details: 41120873
— Team Indulge