Thursday, January 27, 2022

Strokes and Stories

‘Words & Images’ showcases published and unpublished drawings of three illustrators.

Written by Nikita Puri |
February 23, 2015 12:43:18 am
Sujata Singh’s If Wishes were Horses; Suddhasattwa Basu’s play on snakes and ladders. Sujata Singh’s If Wishes were Horses; Suddhasattwa Basu’s play on snakes and ladders.

SOCIETY SHOTS

Everyday events — a child sketching on the walls during his vacation or two kittens stretching and looking out of a bedroom window — take on a graceful and whimsical quality in Mala Marwah’s ink, and colour pencil works. Besides confident and clear lines that bring out texture and also play with light-and-dark shadows, witty humour underlines works such as A Day at the Club (1991), where city-based Marwah shows two high-society women and a man considering the day’s special (Snob Soup) and discussing a minister’s stenographer who lives in a “leafy bungalow on Jump-up Path”.

“I have learnt to combine verbal with visual humour. Some of my drawings reflect my interest in the space we occupy and my love of nature,” says Marwah, 67, who has written on Modern Indian art, and illustrated for publications such as Rosalind Wilson’s Target magazine.

ALL IN A GAME

Suddhasattwa Basu, 59, has displayed illustrations made for editorials and financial news sections. An illustration on the telecom industry is based on the game of snakes and ladders, where the snake and the ladder share the same space, which the player (dressed in a suit) realises only after he’s taken the ladder. “Some funny faces from children’s books are there, too,” says Basu, who has worked on illustrations for children, and is the creator of the country’s first animation series for children, Gayeb Aya, telecast on Doordarshan in July 1990. Besides Target magazine, Basu has illustrated for more than 56 books including Nature Watch (2003) and Ka: The Story of Garuda (2004).

IMAGES OF IMAGINATION

Sujata Singh creates a fantasy scene but shorn of colour in If Wishes were Horses (1996). The sun, moon, snow-capped mountains and the Taj Mahal among other things, swirl around a couple riding a flying horse. While Singh’s portraiture-styled The Young Priest (1995) brings out the reactions of two elderly women to a young priest, her The Sacrifice has a meditating swami, wave-like clouds in the twinkling night sky and a man rising upwards, surrounded in flames of red and orange. “While illustrating, I try to enrich rather than mirror it,” says the Delhi-based artist who has worked for publishers including Scholastic and Penguin India.

The show is on at IIC Annexe till February 24

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