In the shadow of night, cities that never slept, came to a grinding halt. Skyscrapers that trembled as commuter trains screeched past, froze in mid-air. Neighbours ceased to meet as neighbourhoods became “contained”. Chimneys spewed their last cloud of smoke as factories shut shop across the country. Human beings retreated into contained capsules in an attempt to “stay safe”, leading surreal virtual lives, looking outside with anxiety, fear and distrust.

My interests in the forms of objects, oriented me more towards drawing-based practices, which later channelized me to the printmaking mediums. I have mostly worked in a very detailed manner using the possibilities which printmaking helps me to acquire. In this work, I relished the technical play of negative-positive layers. In the foreground, one figure is seated on the sofa facing upwards. He is experiencing pain and his mouth is open in hunger for oxygen. The bright light coming from the outside signifies hope.

Vinay Gusain, ‘Death’, linocut, 12” x 12”

My print reflects the current scenario of Covid-19 in India. In this second wave of Covid, thousands of people lost their family members due to the lack of proper medical facilities and oxygen. In this work, a girl with a sparrow peeps out from a window in search of hope, and waits for the right time to go back to our old days. But in the background of this work, the ghat shows the reality and darkness of this pandemic, where the multiple funeral pyres of those who died of Covid-19 burn. It portrays how the virus is swallowing us.

Spriha Maurya, ‘Waiting for sunrise’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

The reason why I have named the picture ‘Containment Zone’ is because I have been thinking about the Covid-19 situation for sometime and I have come to realize how dangerous it is . So I wanted to show in this picture how housebound people can stop the infection from entering the house.

Swapan Kumar Das, ‘Containment Zone’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

My works revolve around the multi-faceted and somewhat conflicting relationships between human beings and objects. Through my work I am tracing the trajectory of an invisible thread that ties humans with their surroundings. I investigate through my art, the socio-political issues in the environment. That’s the reason I feel text/word and language is an important tool to communicate with the public. I believe art must reflect social and political presence. The virtual as well as the real world are both present in my work. I intend to represent a ‘social fusion’. My art practice involves a multidisciplinary trajectory. I do community oriented and project based installation. I should like to research/experiment in the methodological possibilities of practice incorporating different mediums not just as the means to produce an art object but to elaborate conceptually too.

Koustav Nag, ‘Labour II’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

The entire pandemic and the arraignment of systemic management disasters perpetuated by the government became pain points in themselves. The collective pain caused by the failure of machinery that we all would have liked to rely on may be referred as the Pain Corporation of India.

Bharatesh GD, ‘Pain Corporation of India’, linocut, 12” x 15”

Raven in folklore is a creature of metamorphosis and also symbolises transformation. The spirit of the raven tells us that with innovation and creative thinking you can influence outcomes that affect the course of your life.

Sabeena Dewan, ‘Raven’, linocut, 15” x 12”

My practice is based on stories of labourers from villages who have migrated to the cities to earn a livelihood. My experience of working in a small dhaba (street side eatery) helped me closely examine the behaviour and sociology of a section of the poor labourers. There is always a reason behind any migration. It could be natural, political, economic or socio-cultural. Leaving everything behind in search of a livelihood is an aspirational journey. Because I was a part of them for a long time I connected with them easily and understood their stories both as an outsider and a insider. In this work “STAGNATION’’ I have tried to narrate the story of daily wage workers who suddenly became jobless during the COVID pandemic and how their lives turned dark.

Arjun Das, ‘Stagnation’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

We are now living in a situation which seems like living a restless life in a house somewhere outside the world. We have defeated all the people of the world by fighting a virus; we have lost many of our loved ones. Every one of us is counting the days, hoping that tomorrow I will not be a victim of the virus. It is unbearable. I don’t know when and how we will get back to our old world.

Jayanta Naskar, ‘A Turbulent Time’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

People are confined at home; no one is allowed to move out. An invisible shadow of a dark spirit has shrouded civilization. A sense of death and insecurity is spreading everywhere. It is a monologue of a lonely person passing through a mysterious tunnel. Our very own world is becoming unapproachable for all of us. Is there any ray of hope existing at all?

Parag Roy, ‘Tale of the Forbidden City’, linocut, 15” x 12”

My graphic print is a carved attempt to meander through an absent pathway, which is like a peculiar but true nature of the ‘now’. The worldly image ‘tilts’, social intricacies are viewed in black and white; and the difference between actual and
the reality is contrived by a politically conscious mediatic-representation. I propose a cultural representation which evades the clutches of such a media which is hell bent on tapping specific meanings and nothing beyond.

Anil Kumar H.A., ‘Even human touch maintains a distance’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

WATER, along with its multiple uses to keep COVID19 at bay, like regular drinking of hot water and frequent washing of hands. The lockdown has aided me to ponder and eventually investigate intricate details of functioning of the tiny room where I live. Water although being physically formless, is always contained. Water takes the shape of pipes, taps, tanks and makes me comprehend the essentials and their significance as a form of life.

Karagowni Nageshbabu Reddy, ‘Pipe Layout’, linocut, 15” x 12”

met a woman who ran a road side tea stall and she told me that due to the pandemic lockdown “People are scared to drink tea at stalls”. Tea stalls without people is almost an impossible scene, which became possible since 2020 untill recently. People had to maintain social distance and the tea woman had to shut down her petty business. This led her to poverty without any money for daily subsistence. We have lived and are continuing to live a surreal life in 2020/21.

Surekha, ‘2020/21’, linocut, 15” x 12”

‘In search of a comfort zone’ is an ongoing project that explores gender interactions in the public domain. Most Indian cities do not have places for couples, so they use public spaces such as gardens, parks etc. to meet. The public authorities have devised defensive measures to discourage physical intimacy of loving couples, such as installing armrests on benches. This allows me to re-imagine these spaces with or without the defensive measures that disallow or allow specific physical interactions based on how bodies exist in public space and can access intimacy.

Nilanjan Das, ‘In Search For a Comfort Zone’, impression from a concrete matrix, 15” x 12”