As India locked down, livelihoods dried up. In the blazing summer of 2020, the country witnessed the exodus of millions who form the backbone of the nation’s economy, making journeys of the scale that India had not seen since her borders were drawn. Journeys to find shelter and escape starvation, away from the big cities that shunned so many overnight.

It was a march of migrants that shook the world.

It was also the march that took the pandemic to the remotest corners of India and beyond even her borders.

It is the darkness that people in society are facing in a continuous struggle with nature; the darkness is caused by components present in the surroundings; there is also the involvement of the time cycle along with managing a dire situation; this need to fight the darkness creates a unity that is represented as a local train compartment which unites people from various walks of life.

Mayuri Joshi, ‘Engaged’, linocut, 12” x 12”

Lockdown:1.0 to Lockdown:5.0, the management of the year calendar stops or goes blank. Has the clock stopped or is it still invisibly clicking- it is that absolutley perfect ‘static movement’ of the 21st century. It is a flash back of the ‘past’, over 100 years of the major plague of 1898, and a fast forward to the ‘present’. All the above are approved with no further discussion or debate

Archana Hande, ‘Approved 2020-21’, metal plate and rubber stamp on found metal plate print, 15” x 12”

Humanity is facing crisis of loss of compassion and sensitivity towards one another. The relationship between man and nature inspires me. It is both divine and devastating. I try to speak through my works, to evoke a feeling that there’s still a part of us which wants to return home . Through my works I try to touch the untold, unspoken & forbidden stories of my landscape.

Sanskriti Awasthi, ‘Hunger-III’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

The work is made in response to the unprecedented atrocities that took place in India due to the global pandemic. The work reflects the poor planning of the government that failed to safeguard the lives of the most vulnerable sections of our country. This is an attempt to document the extent of systemic violence and ignorance inflicted by the privileged and powerful of our society towards the underprivileged. Art plays an important role to chronicle and reflect the present. We exist in an environment where our collective memory is short and our outrage over events of brutality is momentary due to the frequency of its occurrence. Art provides the desperate reminder that all the lives that were/are affected are important and none of the lives lost, were in vain.

Prakruti Maitri, ‘India Shining’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

The print ‘The Darkest Tomorrow’ provides a future mirror image of the country. We are looking at these past few months, and then looking towards the future. This pandemic has broken the education system and stopped this generation from learning. The children who were ready to go to school first time in their lives, could not even carry their back packs. Everything is at a standstill.. May be one day, the bags, the uniforms, the shocks, the I-cards of school will get place in a store room where spiders and rats can nest in them. The digitisation of the learning system is more intense than a closed dark room. This thought is reflected in this print that looks towards a dark future.

Krittika Maji, ‘The Darkest Tomorrow’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

Be it either confining in our homes or losing homes, we find ourselves lost in different degrees. The pandemic has displaced and distorted our livelihood and our ways of living. ‘Bhatkan’ within or without those four walls has left us to revolve around the questions on fundamental aspects of being.

Snigdha Rana, ‘Bhatkan’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

Due to the devastating situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the workers of the country walked bare foot. Along with men and women, children also became part of this devastating procession. They faced hindrances like hot weather, lack of food and toilets, along with emotional disturbance and breakdown. But there is positivity to be found in the spirit of the migrants in confronting their situation. It sets an example for all that any battle can be won if one sets ones mind to it.

Jayant Sharma, ‘Broken Path’, linocut, 12” x 12”

I left my home in 2014. The situation during the pandemic became so chaotic that I could no longer return to my home. In this lockdown I was thinking about old days. This work depicts one of my old memories.

Pathik Sahoo, ‘Noon-Sun’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

I explore the possibility of multiple textures and patterns in my monochromatic works, woodcut being my most preferred medium to work in. Through my prints, I display the raw emotions and the stimuli they emanate from. Similarly, in “Inevitable Reality”, I’ve have depicted the struggles of a migrant labourer. This narrative is a representation of the submerged thoughts and emotions that crop up inside a distressed mind. The body language displays the ongoing melancholia within his mind. With the emergence of the pandemic and decreasing work opportunities, there is no choice left for him to leave for his native place along with other people like him. With such drastic turn of events and little to no proper management, what else can one do?

Simran Yagyik, ‘Inevitable Reality’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

“In the middle of” depicts the current situation of humans in this pandemic. Where some stay, some leave, and some are in between. I made legs where one is caved in, one is partially turned inwards, while another is walking on the grave. It represents a cycle of life where we have to move forward no matter what the magnitude of the problem on hand. The lines portray my perturbed state of mind.

Srishti Gupta, ‘In the Middle of’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

This “BRAVE NEW WORLD‟ leads us to confusion, where you cannot define your position, even though you are pleased enough with your surroundings. The endless questions of one’s physical self-identity arise again and again, but the result stands still & bright in our virtual reality. In my perception, we are living in an era, where WE are none but a consumer. And our every emotion is dependent on this transactional relationship. Here, the colours of love are covered under the neon lights of advertisements. In a third world country like ours, the spirit of modernism lingers as a ghost often falling back to Colonial orthodoxy. Maybe the fictional fear of society keeps us forcefully bowed.

Arpan Sadhukhan, ‘Pilgrim of death’, woodcut, 12” x 12”

There’s no pity or mercy. The labourers are shattered and penniless with no work due to the lockdowns. Many migrated to their hometowns for survival. The work is an illustrative depiction of situations that humanity went through during the Covid 19 crisis.

Priyojit Senapati, ‘Misery for situation’, linocut, 12” x 12”

My work is based on memories. The identity of each person is generated from their experiences. These are transformed into memories, that in a way end up interpreting reality. I chose my subjects inspired by the events that have happened in my life. Memory is a collective result of past experiences which we see or hear in our day to day life, that then remain in our sub-conscious mind. I have used elements from my previous work in creating this new work, the past work being inspirational for me.

Sunandita Bandhu, ‘Migrant’s Crisis’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

Society is full of inequalities on various levels, be it financial, health security, opportunities for education, jobs, and so on. As part of our coping mechanism, we tend to ignore these facts and bury them under a veil of mundane materialistic existence. When the Covid19 pandemic hit India, this veil was partially removed, exposing the horrors of inequality, poverty, exploitation, and corruption, all leading to extreme suffering for the underprivileged. The impact of this exposé will have a great impact on the minds of our children… the future of our nation.

Conrad Pinto, ‘Ruthless reality’, linocut, 12” x 15”

My works are based on my observations of life around me, both personal and social. I internalize what I see and represent these as metaphors or visual comments. These may be from a sense of loss and displacement or a need to relook at the memories; they could be related to socio-political issues, deprivation, disasters, violence, disharmony, inequality, and of late, related to the pandemic. My works represent lived experiences.

Vijay Bagodi, ‘Migrants’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

In printmaking the material that we use and how we use it often falls at the risk of being left unseen. Experiments that we do often are left known to us rather than being apparent to all but those who are looking for them. Here I use rice paper which is very delicate. The colour may transfer to the other side of the paper, the engraving might lose the details, too little pressure might transfer the colour in an intensity that is not desired, and so on and so forth. A woman is walking with a child on her back. There are others in the background. It matters less where such images are seen and every time they make us feel similar things. We have to imagine a world where we won’t see them again.

Pritam Mudhukar Deuskar, ‘Apply Pressure’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

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, ‘Procession’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

My home place Himachal Pradesh inspires me: the sublime nature, the simplicity of life, and the trueness that has an impression on my mind that can be observed in my overall artwork. I prefer my subject generally from the natural environment. And some of my artworks show the problems of increasing population. The aesthetic experience which I feel in my hometown is hard to capture. My mind contemplates Himalayan beauty who is reflected in my art.

Preeti Singh, ‘Discontinous Continuity’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

In the city of death a temporary questions arises. Unemployment, homeless, lack of medicine,, lack of patients care space, lack of oxygen lack of vacancies, lack of essential commodities with black market rises temporary questions will come in people mind, what will happen next? Every Day statistics of people in different part of the world, getting sick, recovering from diseases, death,qutestion the structure of feature society. The policy of maintaining distance , between mass Cheethas,mas Graves and relatives not been seen after death , calls into question human emotions. These daily life events,TV, News paper,inter net social sites create a help less state in my mind which has helped me to take printed picture.

Nirmalendu Saha, ‘Buffering Memory’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

The Coronavirus’ arrival in India has changed people’s lives. Isolated and with no inspiration to make art, I started to maintain a diary of drawings on social media sites. The troubled working class, with no means to find a meal or work, had started to migrate on foot homewards. This image is one of those images which went viral during the lockdown in 2020. A child sleeping on a suitcase.

Obayya Manjalpadupu, ‘The Sleeping Child’, 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

Sanjib Roy Pakhadhara, ‘Gloomy Life-II’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

During the pandemic many women and children are silent victims of this situation. They have had to flee there homes or live in unacceptable conditions. They wait silently looking towards the future in hope to see the light.They wait in the darkness not knowing how long it will take. Hoping for a better tomorrow.

Deepika Chatterjee, ‘Silent Victims’, linocut, 15” x 12”