Notes to Self is an online exhibition of selected works from Shailesh B.R.. This exhibition is part of our digital endeavour –VAG FRESH–a series of online exhibitions hosted on ourwebsite, through which we will support our younger artists and direct a percentage of proceeds by way of contribution to charities and NGOs who are working towards rehabilitating communities that aresuffering due to the outbreak of COVID-19.Part of the proceeds from this exhibition will serve as a contribution to the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), as they specifically undertake relief initiatives against COVID-19 to fight hunger and deprivation for marginalized and underprivileged individuals and families.
Shailesh’s visual language has an aura of iconography, with his ritualistic practice of drawing and collage work that invokes, mimetically, the act of forming connections between disparate observations, thoughts, moods, feelings – the internal world – and objects, places, animals, stories, food, landscapes – the outer world. While he strives to represent an immediate reality conjured through contemplation, his bent of mind evolves in a conversational way by scruitinizing the concept of thought in metaphorical, mythological and political terms, and then presenting it as an amalgamation of the monotony of routine activities and its minor but crucial elements in a political context. These preliminary drawings often ideologically serve as blueprints to explore the kinetic and sculptural nature of the imagination.
This exhibition includes an assortment of works from Shailesh’s 2019 series Eclipse, which deals with the phenomenon of existence and the overshadowing of one, caused by the intrusion of a third party that impels the artist to consider his immediate surroundings as well as the world at large, taking the descriptive form of a variety of objects and places – fruit and vegetables, sea and mountains, volcanoes and ant hills, etc. The exhibition also includes work from his most recent solo exhibition The Last Brahmin, which opened in Nice in February 2020, in which Shailesh explores the complicated construction of the Indian caste system and Brahmin ritual in particular. Primarily concerned with the ownership and dissemination of spiritual knowledge, an apparent birthright of the Brahmin caste, Shailesh considers the role of technology and machinery in replacing the human mind and system to answer philosophical questions. The exhibition further includes a latest body of work titled Vasanta the artist is developing in response to the lockdown, while still in Nice, in which the anxiety and unrest from unknowing await answers and clarity in the form of spring.