Sculpture show by Seema Singh Dua
At Quill & Canvas, 122 South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase V
Date:From Sep 16 to Oct 16
Walk into Seema Singh Dua’s show at the Quill and Canvas gallery and your eyes are at once drawn to a bust of a thoughtful woman encrusted with stainless steel washers. You wonder what she’s thinking about if her delicate features are frozen in agony or ecstasy; if she’s pondering about the state of the world, or laughing mirthlessly at its foibles. You marvel at the texture of her fibre glass skin and the gleam of the unexpected metal accoutrements, and wonder at the quirky imagination of the artist who has incorporated a lowly plumbing accessory in a work of art.
Indeed, all of Dua’s work has that quality of surprise. You see it in Nirvana 2, where a serene Buddha emerges from drift wood, reminding the viewer of the moment when the Master had his great revelation under the Bodhi tree. It’s evident in pieces like Majestic—that uses fibre, jute and seeds; and in the cubist Ganeshas that effectively use wood and copper, to convey the deity’s playfulness. And it’s clear too in the lovelorn Yeh Nazdikeeyan series that recalls some of Rodin’s work. “When my mother saw these, she commented that perhaps I should clothe them,” laughs Dua pointing to the delicately wrought couples caught in passionate embrace. Thankfully, the sculptor didn’t follow her mother’s advice this once, and the fluid lines of these pieces seem to transcend the sensuous—to attain the spiritual.
Some of her works, like Majestic Heights ,that features sombre silver and gold streaked heads—on pillars of what look like solid pebbledash, but are actually light fibre glass—are monumental. But they too have that delicate touch, that indescribable essence, that’s evident when an artist strives to render a thought in a solid material; to capture the ephemeral in a work of sculpture.
Seema Singh Dua’s work juxtaposes materials to present concepts that gently lead the viewer to think about the unity in the disparate, the singular thread that ties diverse fragments, and ultimately of the oneness of the universe. As you give the thoughtful woman encrusted with stainless steel washers one last look, it occurs to you that perhaps she too is pondering about this big idea.