The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on daily life around the globe and a new exhibition, titled Living A Dark Night at Arthshila Santiniketan is a fitting response to the traumatic times.
Curated by Paula Sengupta in collaboration with the Kala Chaupal Trust, the exhibition at Arthshila Santiniketan, the new arts centre in West Bengal’s Bolpur invited artists to come together to hear the anguish around and to register it for posterity, lest history forgets.
Executed in a space of isolation, these prints looked from deep within to the spectre without, but also from darkness to light. The exhibition showcased works by printmakers standing together as only printmakers can, about returning printmaking to its original democratic role.
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Ruchira Das, artistic director of Arthshila said, “I have followed the project Living A Dark Night since the time it was announced amidst the pandemic and have been moved by the powerful response from artists across the country. The chosen medium was printmaking and I was keen to have this exhibition to Arthshila Santiniketan after the centenary exhibition of Somnath Hore, one of the artists cited as a point of reference, by Paula Sengupta, curator of the exhibition.”
Arthshila opened its doors in Santiniketan two months ago and has been visited by people from all walks of life, from Bolpur and beyond.
Meanwhile, Sengupta, the curator of the exhibition at Arthshila Santiniketan, added, “Living A Dark Night is a project born in response to the deadly second wave of the pandemic in India. At a time of despair, it was conceived from the heart, and artists and participants responded from the heart. This intensely powerful project continues to touch hearts as it continues on its journey, because it encapsulates a narrative of collective suffering and triumph.”