‘Montage of memories’ was born during the lockdown

Trees are a recurring theme in artist S.G. Vasudev’s new series

No matter how long a person has been a ‘subject matter expert’, they are constantly evolving, constantly learning and constantly experimenting with new forms. Such has been the experience of Bengaluru-based artist S.G. Vasudev whose latest series, ‘Montage of Memories’, is currently on display.

“Around five months ago, I was drawing as is my regular practice when an invite caught my eye. I wondered how its gold and silver lines would look inside a drawing. It worked very well, and I continued incorporating drawings and collage,” said Mr. Vasudev, recounting the idea that sparked his current series.

Looking back at some collages he had created in 1978, the artist said, “I realised there were no lines on those pieces, except where the paper was cut and pasted. I found this fascinating. I began sourcing images from glossy magazines and newspapers, experimenting with textures and form, by both tearing and cutting out pieces of paper I wanted to use.”

It was a defining moment when Mr. Vasudev began using images from Vriksha, his biography in a coffee table book format. “I took out my own images from the book — a face here, some hands there — and began recreating stories, pasting the scraps in unusual ways. I found the result interesting and unique.”

Apart from paper, canvases in the ‘Montage’ series feature elements such as cloth, cardboard and other material. Mr. Vasudev said he derived inspiration for the series from various sources. “I drew inspiration from theatre, dance, literature, poetry and from art, too,” he said.

Trees are a recurring theme in the ‘Montage of Memories’, along with magicians, dancers, deities, the bond between man and animals, as well as abstract concepts, such as reflection and rhapsody.

Though experimental by nature, this series, which was birthed during the lockdown, came to completion in time for Gallery Sumukha’s 25th anniversary. “A year ago, they had asked me to hold an exhibition. When I told them I was only going to exhibit my recent collages, they agreed to the idea.”

As an artist with a career spanning over five decades, Mr. Vasudev has previously worked with oils, ink, copper and silk. ‘Montage of Memories’ can be viewed at Gallery Sumukha, Bengaluru from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, till March 27.

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