Odia Artist Presents Cultural Window To The State At India Art Fair


Bhubaneswar: Her art installation during the Bhubaneswar Art Trail in November, which garnered a lot of appreciation paved the way for artist Satyabhama Majhi’s participation at the India Art Fair currently on in New Delhi.

Her endeavour to showcase the co-existence and synthesis of temples and cities is in step with the state government’s effort to promote Odisha as a ‘culturally rich smart city.’

Her art installation, made from ‘salu kana’ (red thread used for prayers) is presently on display in the garden of NALCO Bhawan here.

Getting her artwork exhibited at the India Art Fair is an endearing experience for this artist. Her art installation titled “Temple City” occupies pride of place in the 11th edition of the fair that has brought together more than 1000 artists, 75 institutions and galleries from India and beyond under one roof.

 “There is a need to look at a city with one’s cultural conditioning and anthropology. We must look at the reformations which are taking place in a newly developed city keeping the traditionalist approach,” says Majhi.

Brought up in the Old Town area in the city, she feels it is important to understand the way in which the local people have viewed the city over the years and implement it in the artworks. “The interesting part is to work with the transition and the cultural mobilization and track the ideas of the city’s dislocation with its past and its orientations,” she added.

She feels people in the city need to understand the difference between art installations and sculptures. “The concept is very popular in metros but it is very important that people in our city understand the same. Both are completely different concepts,” she said. Projects on public art installations are the need of the hour, says Majhi.

“Installation is a form of conceptual art , a genre in which ideas and impact are regarded as being more important than the quality of the finished work of art. So, it is high time we take up installations and involve the younger generation to understand this art in a better manner,” says Kshitish Das, an artist.

Majhi has been involved with a number of art projects in the city for the last 20 years. One of her projects, where an unused plot of land in the remote village of Paradsinga in Madhya Pradesh that was once used for open defecation and gambling was transformed into a beautiful playground and a recreational zone for the children of the village is very popular. Led by Majhi, a group of 15 students of BK College of Art and Crafts were part of the mission.

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