To home page





March '07

art gallery
New Delhi

Curated by
Johny ML


  • Durga - Acrylic on canvas - 60" x 72" - 2005
  • Flying Durga - I - Acrylic on canvas - 36" x 60" - 2005
  • Durga with Mahishasur - Acrylic on canvas - 60" x 72" - 2006
  • Goddess - I - Acrylic on canvas - 48" x 48" - 2005
  • The Peacock - Reverse painting on acrylic sheet - 10" x 15" - 2006
  • Flying Goddess - Reverse painting on acrylic sheet - 15.5" x 17.5" - 2006
  • Two Animals - Reverse painting on acrylic sheet with enamel paint - 48" x 60" - 2006
Thumbnail panels:
Now Loading
World of Memories

Rashika Ojha gets caught into the stream of consciousness evoked by the works of Madhvi Parekh presented in a solo at Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi and comes out with a set of interesting observations.

Memory is an impression of experiences and events at times clear and at times hazy. Memory is also what one chooses to remember, practicing the filter inherent making choices in accordance to one’s perceptions. Memory conveys a background, a broken narrative where multiple glimpses together try to formulate a lost space of one’s life. Memories are erratic, frenetic yet very personal. Madhvi Parekh an artist of acclaim tries to engage with this very erratic yet personal world of her memories in the medium of reverse paintings and sculptures. Her exhibition “World of Memories” was on display at the Vadehra Art Gallery for almost a month, a package rare, as it was a sensitive portrayal of an amalgamation of the traditional and the modernist.

Madhvi recollects her childhood memories in the village Sanjaya in Gujarat and tries to experience once again these recollections with a childlike openness. But now these imageries of childhood are tied up with the images of the entire world. Like the village sun shines on the Egyptian Pharaoh, signs and symbols specific to India float between the two heads of Black Queens. Many such memoirs of her life she gathers with a strong background of rural Gujarat to create her own private mythologies.

The private mythologies that revolve around shared stories, stories shared while traveling is chronicled in the language of an inquisitive child as doodles and scribbles. Francis Bacon has suggested travel to be a part of education, experience and he mentions things that need to be observed “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience….in land travel so much is to be observed ….let diaries, therefore be brought in use. The things to be seen….., whatsoever is memorable in the places where they go” . Madhvi records these travels and from there she chronicles the blue waters of Mauritius vividly and portrays Christ as witnessed in Israel.

This experience of self-intertwined with the other world with childlike curiosity and trust holds on just an acute experience of the privileged. A wide-eyed boy, Madhvi’s alter-ego tries to portray this brief experience and attempts to glorify the fact that he was present there at that particular moment, the privileged moment. One such glorified memory is of Kali Pandals in Calcutta, which dominate her work expanding on her interest in the expression of energy as Shakti that is seen in confluence with the concept of bahurupee. A bahurupee who masquerades as different sacred and profane characters, transforms the idols and icons into images of the everyday, creating a scope for slipping from one role to another. In the work Flying Durga II, this proximity is suggested where the horse and Durga images can exchange their roles.

The consistent flavour that one can relish in her works is the association with her rural memories, the sculptures, the paintings, the method and the concepts all emerge from the rural world and later extend into the urban surroundings. The sculptures are like domestic shrines, totem poles or homes with motifs that operate in our everyday lives. The method of her work is like a ritual of the village, preparation of the surface by washing and drying then dividing the space and start painting. This concept of recollection is also felt in Edward Thomas’s Broken Memories where he mourns over the changes that have taken place since his childhood in his hometown“We cannot summon up any thought or reverie which had not in this wood its nativity.’ This we have changed! And if we could paint, and wished to make a picture of our youth with its seriousness and its folly, we should paint in this wood”. Similarly to paint the rural one has to take recourse of the rural way and Madhvi does the same. Every artist has explored the recesses of one’s mind and so does Madhvi through her exhibition “World of Memories” and can be assured that she is not the unfortunate as Edward Thomas says “Unfortunate (we thought) is he who has no dusty and never-explored recesses in his mind!”


Home About us Contact