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    Merging dance, painting and sculpture, Forum Art Gallery explores the lotus and its metaphors

    Flower power’ was coined in the 60s to promote passive resistance to war, but the lotus, especially in India, means something completely different. From emoting happiness to signifying the birth of a child, its meaning will be explored at the Forum Art Gallery’s month-long exhibition, Padme, which will host interpretations by painters, photographers and sculptors.
    Renowned Bharatnatyam dancer Anita Ratnam, who is launching the exhibition, will present a 30-minute dialogue, where she’ll recite poetry and read stories, using the lotus as a metaphor for emotions. “It can symbolise grace, beauty, strength, love, longing, and even eroticism,” says Ratnam, whose students will also be performing their contemporary dance act, Padme.
    While artists like Bharti Singh and AV Ilango will explore the bloom through birds and gardens, Delhi-based Sarla Chandra sees the Sahasrara, the thousand-petaled lotus, as a form of meditation and a window into Indian philosophy. “I’ve been painting the padma for over 45 years and I’ve realised if you want to understand Indian myths and philosophy, you have to keep practicing painting,” says the 72-year-old artist.
    As for Shalini Biswajit, artist and the director of Forum, her stainless steel sculpture is about reflection and self-awareness. “I call all my work a self-portrait. The lotus is held as a point of self-enlightenment and as a vow to aspire for more and to stay away from mundane life,” she signs off.
    At Forum Art Gallery, from June 30 to July 31. Details: 42115596
    —Sakshi Kaushik



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