The narratives around spices

By Siddhi Jain

Peppery Soliloquies, an upcoming art show curated by Georgina Maddox, will highlight the magical, aphrodisiacal powers of spices that evoke a melange of historical narratives, emotions, tastes, rituals, associations and aromas.
The intention behind Peppery Soliloquies is to uncover and investigate the notions and texture of spice through the artworks, while enjoying the serendipitous coming together of these multiple perspectives in a visual medium that usually gives rise to new readings and intuitive interpretations.
Presented by art connoisseur and Director of Art Centrix space Monica Jain, the exhibition will feature works of nine artists including sculpturist Arunkumar HG, Karol Antao, Vasundhara Tewari Broota, Lavanya Mani, Kishore Chakraborty, Chetan Mevada, Khanjan Dalal, Meghna Patpatia and Vishwanath Kuttum.
Arunkumar HG has worked on with papier-mache sculptures of the Star Anise spice that is native to southern China and Vietnam and then came to India with Mughal cuisine, where it is called the chakri phool looks, not just at the history of the colonial around spices but also the contemporary issues around its production, says the gallery.
“We encouraged our artists to explore in contemporary times and trace out the voice of the following aspects our peppery soliloquies employing art, references literature, ancient scripts, history and documents and of course contemporary times, where we examine the influence of species upon the following various aspects of life, from the everyday to the historical, from its aroma and flavour in food to its ayurvedic usage, from the aphrodisiacal to the mythological, from religious aspects, its medicinal usage. During the pandemic, our artists have turned inwards and created works especially for the show that look at this aspect of the spice trail along the spice trail of India and East Asia,” says Georgina Maddox.
“Peppery stories, grandmas’ recipes, aromas, whiffs of spices. The all too familiar took on a new importance during the pandemic. While eating out was always flavourful, it’s the fragrance of home that became more fulfilling and enticing even as the aromas of distant lands became a distant memory. Art is always connected to life, what we see, observe and feel.
“Artists remain very connected to the earth, to feelings, thoughts, influences, life, situations, and society and their work reflects their sensitivity to these. This exhibition while incorporating diverse thoughts of the same concept also reflects how works can be more individualistic due to the pandemic. I think the aroma emanating from each work is even more powerful through memory and experience, through missing and savouring. Thus this show relives home and travels equally.” says Monica Jain. (IANS)

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