Gallery Veda presents a lesson in history, with Dakshinapatha, a non exportable exhibition and sale of works on colonial India
Before we introduce you to Dakshinapatha, we must tell you that you don’t have to be an art enthusiast to enjoy the upcoming show at Gallery Veda. This exhibition of lithographs, aquatints and engravings will teach you a lesson or two on the history of colonial India. “For instance the paintings by Alex Soltykoff, that depict the different strata of society in front of a temple,” says Angira Arya, the Mumbai-based auctioneer and curator of Dakshinapatha, who has sourced these works from collectors in New Delhi, Shimla (“for good reason — it was the summer capital of the British”), Calcutta, Mumbai and Chennai too. “Only 192 works were short listed from a list of 5,000, because we wanted to make it about South India only,” he shares, adding that the task however, was getting collectors to not just part with these works, but also put them up for prices as low as Rs 15,000. “Seventy five per cent of the show is below Rs 50,000 with 40 plus works in the range of Rs 15,000,” he says, insisting, “The idea is to enable Indians to own a piece of history and that is why the entire show is non exportable.”
At the exhibition that is open from tomorrow till November 25, one also has very rare books to watch out for, says Arya. “The earliest books we have are the first two volumes of the works of Dutch horticulturist Hendrik van Rheede, that were published in 1678 and 1679. He did a complete study of every medicinal herb on the Malabar coast, that was published as a set of 12 volumes, in Latin, Sanskrit, Malayalam and Persian,” he informs. There’s also a book published in 1914, that has the music of South Indian instruments written for the piano. And if that does not excite you, try gazing into maps that show you what the kingdoms looked like in the early 18th century or take in the works of British surveyors that give you a glimpse os scenes in the Shevaroy Hills, Madras and the Malabar coast.
From 6 pm on October 10, at Gallery Veda. Details: 43090422