Exhibition Fields of Eros and Enchantment
Domus India|February 2020
Exhibition Fields of Eros and Enchantment
An ongoing exhibition of artist Bhagyashree Suthar’s works reflects her fascination with architecture and geometry, and are a play of the fantastical and the familiar. Suthar gathers images and objects from everyday life, and is familiar with the histories and contexts of drawing up futures. She is also invested in the use of mathematical constructions and abstractions towards mapping these languages of the future world. From the Fibonacci series and Fractals, Parametricism and Visionary Futures of Archigram to the drawings and models of Lebbeus Woods or the architectures of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry — they all build a library of this investigation for Suthar. She brings into her work a whole history of humankind’s interest in shaping worlds of perfection — places of balance and cosmic as well as earthly magnificence and sublimity — utopia — something that never exists, a never-place!
Kaiwan Mehta

Meticulous lines weave into each other, one after another, some thick, some thin, some turning into bands building up a high-rise-like construction, some meeting at angles to shape some hedronic formations twirling into a sphere, others whirling into tornado-like swirls, while twisting star-like patterns covers the ground beneath. These images draw into your eyes probably much in the same way Bhagyashree Suthar, the Baroda-based artist, draws lines on surfaces — thoughtful and indulgent, involved and generous in turns. Upturned Ziggurats in spiral formations, feathers clustering and opening like the ballerina’s dress, and the sphere is cut open to show the geometric construction of the mathematician’s imagination of a Platonic solid. Nuts and shells, spheroid and butterflies, the fly-whisk, petals in perfect mathematical structure, honeycomb plate, fabric, paper, and solids sedimented — all inside and shaping the landscapes of these fantasy worlds that Suthar draws out. The large works are literally sets for a science-fiction tale or a fairy tale with Alice and the Mad Hatter, or stage-assemblages for Hrithik Roshan to dance across, or for Sridevi of Mr India or a another James Bond or Inception sequence.

Are these landscapes of the future? Of times-yet-to-come where technological progress will give us perfection, and science will make our lives risk-free — where all will be pure nature, and pure technology, with the long division of history between the two vanished such that technology is nature, and we read nature as the birth of technology. We search for the shape of future desperately — we imagine it in our most desired objects; we make perfect fantasies to fit our lust for futures in it. Utopia is one such future, it is perfect, it is so perfect it does not exist, and it will never exist, it is truly ‘no place’ but we strive yet to grab, create, imagine, build that future — the place of perfect abode — the place of perfect dreams. Our world is so chaotic, filled with emotions, we believe rationality to be that future; and we think geometry will give us the predictability of futures, and crystallise dreams into shards of tectonic structures — geometric yet forest-like, rational yet complex as urban natures that we are.

Bend, mould, twist, stretch geometry is what Bhagyashree Suthar does in her drawings and paintings. Here, geometry is robust and juicy, and every story in geometry shapes itself into landscapes of time, light, and intrigue. As the lines and spaces in her geometric forests, along with the shades in-between, hide and emerge by turns, they play out a field of memories and histories of imaginary worlds we call Utopia. Suthar brings into her work a whole history of humankind’s interest in shaping worlds of perfection — places of balance and cosmic as well as earthly magnificence and sublimity — utopia — something that never exists, a never-place!

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February 2020