In this long, dark night, portraits of anguish and anxiety stand testimony to the nightmare that we are living. Our masked visage no longer allows us to smile. Our isolation gives us no cause to smile. A glance in the mirror tells us that nearly two years have passed us by. Our desolate homes are mirrors of our desolate lives. Our screams of despair echo within the four walls that we inhabit or through ghosts towns that may never rise again from the ashes.   

My works, on the face of it, keep on shifting from one subject to another without any seeming formal continuation. I operate on a reactive mode when I witness the increasingly repressive politics of the world we live in, that gags free speech and unleashes tyranny and terror on people. How long should we remain deaf and mute witnesses? The newspapers, the social media and belief system, and rumour mills are the three basic sources that I rely on for current affairs. Moreover, literature is a big help.

Soura Chatterjee, ‘Wear a mask to save your identity’, linocut, 12” x 12”

This black and white woodcut print conveys the underlying emotion of rejection of life’s monotony, whilst still living in a closed societal circle. Living in an organised framework as in a society, we tend to live our lives bound under unspoken rules. Only a few are able to break out from these systemic ties. In this print, we see the victim tied into this circle of life and yet striving to expand and broaden the circle. But alas, he ends up only expanding the cyclical dark inner void.

Mahesh Chand Rai Prajapati, ‘Chakravyuh’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

At present, modern society is developing rapidly with the help of machines. People of the modern civilization are enjoying luxurious lives and happiness by using this mechanical medium. Modern society is growing by destroying the ecological balance. It is a hindrance to moral development. We are being mentally entangled by it. Heaps of used machines are grimacing at us. Social life has become fragile. Harsh real experiences, perplexing moments are creating complexity and mental dilemma. It is tremendously affecting my ego and id. And this feeling is being expressed through my work.

Santanu Maity, ‘Fire Man’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

I am working on discarded pieces of plywood and carton boxes by treating them further to make a surface fit for printmaking. I am also working towards non-toxic printmaking and a more sustainable practice where the wastage of paper can be reduced. My new body of work will be around co-existence with the environment and I will be drawing, painting, sketching, clasping and growing plants in my recent works.

Tarun Sharma, ‘Selaginella bryopteris of year 2021’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

The title ” Phoenix ” Is a metaphor to suggest the indomitable human spirit to survive, going forward and striving for a better life. A split face is looking ahead and backwards with desperation and hope. Though dislocated from the place of work, the broken shattered dreams, the human spirit is looking for a ray of hope and again building a dream home.

Dattatreya Apte, ‘Pheonix’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

In this moment of time, the lockdown has affected everyone. Life and man who thought that nothing could stop life’s momentum or man, now has come down to a complete and sudden halt. Staying confined within four walls, the aspiration of man peeks out, life not giving up, wanting to move..To some, this moment has shattered many dreams and hopes of people. Through my work, I have tried to reflect this.

Uday Panchal, ‘Fragmented Time’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

Home Quarantine was a blessing in disguise. Staying alone for those fifteen day, made me feel bored, yet it acted like a catalyst, helping me energize my creative thoughts again. I think this pandemic has made us all think beyond are usual selves so we can increasingly become more self aware.

Dushyant Patel, ‘Home Quarentine’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

Scared of the news that I would receive with every phone call, yet thankful for being able to remain in contact through social networking. At the least I was not feeling lonely in those stressful times. The work is a representation of what we went through during the pandemic.

Menka Jain, ‘Quarantine’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

My present works in both painting and printmaking are an amalgamation of various mediums that extend to my teaching at the Dept. of Visual Arts, Assam University, Silchar. As a resident in a land of depleting rich and diverse resources, I experience man-made or natural grief in my native land every year. I think my images come from day-to-day experiences, affected by recent decadence and a downward trend in h, uman values. At present I don’t want to talk about richness or glorification. I would rather speak in a specific and real sense of the core issues in the recent pandemic, which have threatened the human race, most affecting the downtrodden and the poor.

Dr. Raj Kumar Mazinder, ‘During the Covid-19 Pandamic’, linocut, 12” x 15”

When I look into the mirror I can’t believe myself. Covid has taken its toll. I’m not the same person anymore. I can say that it has made me relook at all the things that I take for granted. Personally, first wave was manageable, but the second wave was brutal. It took away many dear ones. The invisible scars it has left run very deep and perhaps will remain forever. I just want to turn back the clock and make it go away. ‘Aaina pehli si surat mange’, but alas…

Ravikumar Kashi, ‘Aaina pehli si surat mange’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

The aim of this artwork is not to adorn a living room or a bedroom. I use my work to instigate consciousness that would manifest into care for the uncared in this world. I have never been out of this country, but I have realized that those who would need care are the same everywhere in this world. The cruelty, hatred and inequality they are subjected to is universal in its action. My art is always a reaction. Images and incidents that disturb me have always been the subject of my work. I have never tried to visualize an image. They are always in front of my eyes and they compel me to give them a body. The ideas are often derived from the sadness and helplessness that I feel in my heart for what the world is turning into.

Portia Roy, ‘The Mourning’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

My work expresses emotions and reflections of living in the present moment.

Danish Khan, ‘Never come back’, woodcut, 22” x 14”

We are going through a difficult time of which we have no previous experience. In a life that has been paralysed by an epidemic, the body and mind are constantly in fear of death. In this dark time we have seen the tragic procession of workers losing their jobs and returning home and have witnessed their lack of money and food. They are being deprived of the basics necessary for human survival. The medical professionals are struggling to stop the spread of the epidemic and we cannot appreciate them more. I have tried to do two works focussed on these two issues.

Susanta Pal, ‘Melancholy’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

Anything stands clear when placed alongside its opposite. To me, the dark side is only clear when we stand strong with notes of hope and light. My works represent these two values and tones together. The expressions do talk about fear, whereas the other constructions and source of light talk about HOPE.

Anand Moy Bannerji, ‘The dark night’, linocut, 2020-2021/A

Anything stands clear when placed alongside its opposite. To me, the dark side is only clear when we stand strong with notes of hope and light. My works represent these two values and tones together. The expressions do talk about fear, whereas the other constructions and source of light talk about HOPE.

Anand Moy Bannerji, ‘The dark night’, linocut, 2020-2021/B

We know Bani Thani is a significant character in Rajasthani miniature art. The character that I have seen in this print is to me, the epitome of art. We are amazed to see Bani Thani in the original painting with her face turned to the left. But here she is facing in the opposite direction while wearing a face mask. In this case, I feel that under the pressure of the situation, my art world is deflected in the opposite direction. Today, therefore, the independent study of art colleges, the exhibition of paintings and sculptures of artists, the expression of the whole art world, is a prisoner of the internet. So today, I think the traditional art forms are turning their backs on us in the Coronavirus pandemic.

Soela Bose, ‘The Past at the Present Risk’, linocut, 12” x 15”

‘Within Four Walls’ conveys a stark reality we experienced during the pandemic – of being confined within the four walls of our homes. Much as I was grateful for the safety of my space, every wall and line made me acutely aware of the isolation and surreality of the situation we were facing. Dark as they were, the austere lines combined with light, warm surroundings also contained a calm strength and hope which provided sustenance to get through this time with grit and fortitude.

Nandini Bagla Chirimar, ‘Within four walls’, moku-Hanga, 15” x 12”

Urbanization affects the physical environment through the impacts of the number of people, their activities and increased demands on resources which leads to negative consequences on health due to mainly pollution and overcrowded living conditions.As an artist this often hurts me which leads to the representation of the darker side of our society.

Manoj Baidya, ‘Untitled’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

The present situation, not only the pandemic but also a social and political turmoil has harmed everyone irrespective of race, religion and caste. Here I have tried to express my feeling through an animal that has no race, religion or caste and represents us all and our misery.

Rajat Subhar Halder, ‘Screaming’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

I have always been interested in Indian philosophy and our ancient texts. But the present pandemic situation, directly and indirectly, has affected my work like it has that of others. I have tried to express my feelings through a portrait. Here, I have tried to present an interaction of symbols and a complex mixture of the image. I have centralized the portrait, whose head is surrounded by a bright white colour which indicates positivity for the future.

Ramendra Nath Kastha, ‘Cloudy-19’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

Existence is intertwined with time, and continually pulsates between the actual and the potential. Just when our collective consciousness forgets, it reappears after a whimsical interlude. Kālachakra embraces forms and figures from the natural world, constituted through a process of creative mimesis. Conspicuous among these is one form that terrifies us today as we live through this unprecedented lockdown. The use of deep black outlines and scratches reflects the uneasiness that infuses this human crisis.

Santosh Kumar Verma, ‘Kalchakra’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

Nothing in our world stays unchanging. My thoughts on the struggle in our time, because it encompasses both love and death, lead my print to depict an environment of activity, growth, and even lushness surrounding the image of death. My questions: imagine the scale of loss? Imagine your own and your loved ones’ mortality? Imagine every leader working selflessly for others? Imagine a future of safety and security in coexistence?

Lynn Sures, ‘Can you Imagine?’, linocut, 12” x 15”