'Ether Is All That Is', G R Iranna – Gallery Espace
By Jyotsna Sharma 1 Feb, 2017
Through this exhibition G R Iranna explores the relationship between form and the formless. He comments on the fact that every form turns to Ash / dust towards the end of its life. This idea is underscored by the use of Ash in the artworks. It is a material that falls away when touched ever so slightly - a form that would be rendered formless in time.
This exhibition is a continuation of his work at the Kochi Biennale 2016 titled ‘From Ash to Ash’, which was an ovoid shaped work made from Holy Ash (Vibhuti). In addition to exploring the relationship between the form and the formless, it examined the idea of rebirth– an idea deeply rooted in Indian mythology and especially, Hinduism.
Coming back to ‘Ether Is All That Is’, the show stresses on the fact that ether can be seen as existent or non-existent. He explores the formless against the backdrop of society and the way life evolves. Things might burn away and the physical form might disappear, but the memory remains in your conscience. Life is short and given its ephemeral nature, we should spread love and not violence.
The current exhibition is fabulous, one can imagine having these pieces at home. I particularly like the 'Ethereal Beauty', which is made of hand painted blocks of ash. Here again he examines the concept of beauty juxtaposed against the transient nature of time. He assembled the painted blocks to look like a carpet because the carpet across cultures has been a witness to events throughout history.
'Loved Ash' is a comment on beauty again. We all have that side to us where we admire ourselves in the mirror and how we tend to get an ego boost when someone praises us. Again, he says all this beauty is ephemeral and one day we will all be Ash/ dust.