The dark night engulfed all in its long shadow. When victims gasped no more, their pyres burnt on sidewalks, in parking lots, and in crematoriums where flames did not die down in weeks. Even in death, there was no dignity. The teeming metropolises of India were now citadels of death and decay.
As quarantine became the order of the day, suffering and dying became a solitary act. Yet succour was not shortcoming. Medics, civic workers, social and religious groups, citizens forums, and neighbourhood initiatives rallied forth. All struggling to rise to the occasion and help India heal.
My work is about the pain which I myself went through, when I got Covid. The ribcage is about the pain in the chest which would persist all the night. Night is shown as a silhouette of a tree, the tree being also about growth. The pain in the chest and breathlessness was like a dozen cigarettes smoked one after another. But yet there is a hope, the moon is the only light in the dark night. The birds on the ribcage speak about peace which will come back and the pain will leave, not only for me, but also for those millions who suffered across the globe.
Jyotsana Mandapaka, ‘Even the darkest night will end’, woodcut, 12 X 12
Trying to seek identity, humans became numbers suddenly. Amidst the fading identities, nature tried to breath. The rest of the ‘numbers’ could breathe better too. Will this give the rest of us ‘numbers’, a future to build identities? Or will we be the demons we’ve always been?
Mishika Gupta, ‘Pile of Flies’, woodcut, 12” x 12”
The whole human race today is facing a terrible crisis. The cries of the people around for a little oxygen can be heard. Many fresh souls are being dusted in the blink of an eye. Although poverty, hunger and unemployment have crossed the line, people are fighting hard to get rid of this epidemic. The idea of this work has been formed by thinking about this fierce struggle.
Anubhab Paul, ‘Victim’, woodcut, 12” x 12”
There is so much pressure on doctors, nurses and health workers to support life in the eye of this death storm. This collective effort of humanity to save each other has left some exceptional stories and irreplaceable losses.
Rachel Quinn, ‘Helpers’, linocut, 12” x 12”
Living through the day in dreadful ways only to come up against the night to realize that this will happen again. And then there is this adjective “Another” that keeps adding to our collective loss and grief. With this print, I am addressing that adjective and at the same time blurring the difference that comes with contrasting nuances of life, like what it is to be alive or dead.
Anushka Mahapatra, ‘Another’, woodcut, 12” x 12”
I am interested in the movement of time and the memory it leaves behind. I have been experimenting with drawings, trying to put them in motion, by making the play of natural and artificial light a part of my artistic process. The process, other than materials, includes selfexploration through responses to the current situation, mostly a dream-like existence of reality. My interest in folk music, mysticism and love for travelling, results in a strong yet silent undercurrent in my work.
Ritwika Ganguly, ‘Smoke and Flame’, linocut, 12” x 12”
In the field of visual arts, printmaking occupies a unique position as a medium of expression. As my environment changed so did my expression, and a sense of longing and hope started to develop. The print reveals lonely melancholy through its approach and we cannot help but feel empathetic. Historically, graphic art is associated with accessibility and populism. My work instead speaks of a slowness. Parallely, they are reflections of my everyday surroundings which are being interpreted with the forms, patterns and gestures that I embody in my work. They
speak of multiple human relationships, and a autobiographical and cultural reality. My work examines the relationship between art and emotion, and the aesthetic of the two. Woodblock has been my primary choice of medium. The coarse textures and
the grains that are characteristic of woodblock help me to bring out Kāruṇya or sorrow in my protagonist. As one cannot grasp the concept of hope without the concept of sorrow. I explore the lines, textures, forms, and work with a muted palette of primarily black and white, and the different shades of gray they produce to
create humanistic narratives of people and the spaces they inhabit. I combine then real with the imaginary, and the mundane with the fantastic, providing viewers with an intense view into the way I see and experience life.
Leticia Alvarez, ‘Dark Night, He said it’s Time’ woodcut, 15” x 12”
My effort is to portray the present traumatic situation. Humanity stands shaken. The acts of life witnessed as human are actually superficial. The invisible became the visible demon for humankind. Inner feelings urge one to ask the self whether to “believe it or not ?”
Sunil Darji, ‘Believe it or not..?’, woodcut, 15” x 12”
So many souls have escaped from this dark night during the pandemic that the sky has been lit up with veritable explosions of light. We have looked up skywards for help and deliverance from the pandemic and sometimes with pure helplessness while we wait for what is yet to unfold.
Anjali Shekhawat, ‘Untitled’, woodcut, 12” x 15”
‘Noche Larga’ or the ‘Long Night’ that we shared across the entire world during this pandemic.
Silvia Lissa, ‘Noche Larga’, linocut, 15” x 12”
Death is like stepping into an unknown realm. In the pandemic we have all dealt with the fear of death and it’s reality in losses of near and dear ones. This realisation also brings home the poignancy of how small we are in the larger scheme of life and living. And how easily this house of cards we spend a lifetime building can fall.
Purnima Ngangom, ‘Unknown -1’, linocut, 15” x 12”
The second wave of Covid turned the whole country into a cemetery; no discrimination between the rich and the poor, everyone was helpless, every other person was dying. My ears were buzzing with the sound of ambulances, people rushing to hospitals trying to save their loved ones. Like the pain to my
ears was not enough, my social media feed was filled with pleas for oxygen cylinders and hospital beds, that made me cry and question our existence.
Mohit Mahato, ‘Atmosphere’, woodcut, 15” x 12”
The work reflects the current pandemic crisis continues to leave the most devastating impacts on mankind. The virus changed the whole social structure of society and forced us to live in unwanted psychological fear. The image shown here is of a cremation, which is generally attended by a gathering of people to say a final goodbye. This is now performed by an isolated man in a PPE kit. A floating body on the river in the backdrop is one of the common images seen on news channels and social media, which itself demonstrates the worst conditions of the recent past. The dry eyes of the person wearing the PPE kit are quite confusing filled with fear and satisfaction.
Neeraj Singh Kandka, ‘Portrait of Time’, woodcut, 12” x 15”
My work is a direct reflection of the difficult moments of breathlessness experienced during the pandemic, especially in 2021. We lived and died almost simultaneously ….
Kavita Nayar, ‘2021’, woodcut, 12” x 15”
My work speaks about the creation and interpretation of form, how a structure evolves its existence through artistic vision and subsequent interpretation by viewers based on one’s own subjective worldview and knowledge. The very initiation for my visuals is my immediate surroundings but I manage to break the semblances well enough to raise a question about the identity of the object, thus capturing the sense of the known within the unknown.
Avni Bansal, ‘ Even the dead went unseen’, woodcut, 15” x 12”
During the days of lockdown, I was sitting watching news on television and wondering how the meaning of the form of fire is changing when it is being simulated. There is certainly a breakdown between reality and the representation. It is now very easy to imagine that the fire that lights my cigarette and the wood block that I carve could have burnt bodies.
Siddhartha SN, ‘Fire:Fire’, woodcut, 15” x 12”
I always prefer to depict the simple and normal life instead of modern existence. Daily life issues are my concern. Folklore, family life and affection are my subjects. These narratives stand disturbed during the pandemic.
Sanjib Roy Pakhadhara, ‘Gloomy Life-I’, woodcut, 12” x 15”
‘Covid Ganga’ portrays dead bodies in the flowing Ganges. Here, dismembered, discarded bodies of people who have died of Covid float in a devastated landscape with people alone in pits, living in fear and isolation. Experiencing the second wave in Delhi in April felt like this. With Covid , bringing even the most developed countries to their knees, the fragility of our world and its unsustainable systems has become only more apparent. As such, my work is a
personal reflection on this impending disaster.
Tara Sabarwal, ‘Covid Ganga’, woodcut, 12” x 15”
The work depicts turmoil that humanity went through during Covid19. Many lost their loved ones, the stress levels were at peak, health care facilities became inefficient. The lack of sure shot treatment of Covid19 made us all wait patiently for our fate to come.
Saheli Poddar, ‘Untitled’, linocut, 12” x 12”
The widespread disease of this ongoing time is taking quite a toll on the lives of people. In my work, I have portrayed one such person, who is the only survivor in his family. He is shattered with the unbearable, intense pain of losing his kith and kin and at the same time his life has become disoriented and exhausted. The time shrouded with agony and anguish is shown in my work with the warp and weft of light and dark shades.
Swarup Basak, ‘The Only Survivor’, woodcut, 12” x 15”
Being an artist, I get attached emotionally with the critical aspects of my life and look towards excellence. I mostly make woodcuts, a relief medium of printmaking in black and white, which show the psychology and conflicts of an aspiring man. I try and propose it in my way. My works thus reflect the essence of hope.
Bhanu Srivastav, ‘Standing together’, woodcut, 12” x 12”