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Artists put the spotlight on Diwali

5 October 2004

Artists put the spotlight on Diwali

Artists will celebrate Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, at the Artstation Gallery from 26 October – 13 November 2004.

Diwali means 'a row of lights' and marks the beginning of the Indian New Year. Artists Sarah Dutt, John Eaden, Tanja Nola, Beena Rugnathji, Trish Scott and Shruti Yatri present a contemporary New Zealand response to the traditional Indian celebration.

The artists, from both Indian and non-Indian backgrounds exchange ideas and experiences around Diwali. Themes include family connections, transformation and relationships between dark and light.

Sarah Dutt’s paintings focus on themes of family and devotion using pattern to illustrate the workings of family relationships and interactions. “The paintings are celebrations of my culture at this festive time, where we can now celebrate being Indian without having to worry about prejudice and ignorance,” says Ms Dutt. John Eaden’s painted progression from dark into light reveals a small landscape.

He likens the process to the Christian concept of the world being completed in six days and on the seventh day the Lord rested. Tanja Nola’s ethereal work is photography based and deals with the fundamental elements of light, time and the chemistry of the subject. Object maker Beena Rugnathji creates large-scale jewellery based objects that relate to the body in unconventional ways.

Ms Rugnathji uses tactile materials including glossy threads, fabrics and cords in her series of red pieces for the Diwali show. “Diwali for me is about the bonds and relationships between family,” says Ms Rugnathji. Trish Scott combines a wall drawing featuring hundreds of tiny gold butterflies and a floor work that focuses on the daily making and unmaking of fabric flowers. Simple, repetitive processes are employed by Ms Scott and other participants to reveal a quiet transformation. Shruti Yatri’s untitled abstract painting features a circular motif within a square panel. The circle is inspired by the bindu meaning ‘drop’ and refers to a point on the forehead that represents one’s inner most self.

Diwali exhibition information: Artists: Sarah Dutt, John Eaden, Tanja Nola, Beena Rugnathji, Trish Scott, Shruti Yatri Exhibition: 26 October – 13 November 2004 Opening: 5 – 7pm Tuesday 26 October 2004

Artstation, Auckland City’s community visual arts facility, is located at the old police barracks at 1 Ponsonby Rd, Newton. It is easy to get to by public transport with the Link’s ‘Artstation’ bus stop right outside.


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