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Ashes turned into art

New Delhi, Feb 22: The exciting new cremation art technique that uses the power of art to provide the comfort of keeping a small amount of ashes close, is the motivation behind award-winning contemporary artist G.R. Iran’s ongoing exhibition here. After receiving an overwhelming response at the Kochi Muziris Bienle with his work titled “Ash to Ash”, Iran is now enthralling the audience in the capital with a body of work that is an extension of the same theme and process. This suite of works, “Ether is all that is” that consists of canvases, works on paper and installations, is on display at Gallery Espace till March 8.

“The title is an attribute, which is as abstract as the work represented in the exhibition. It is something that we all can relate too,” Iran told IANS in an e-mail interview. The artist uses holy ash or “Vibhuti” as a primary medium, which is further referred to as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. Birth and death exist together. Humans rise from the dust and go back to ash. What remains is an infinite nothingness.

The ash is spiritually believed to ward off negative energies and the artist, through his work, makes an attempt to put forward the union of these energies and the circularity of flow between them.

“Such ideas have been with me for many years. My association with acred Ash’ goes back to my childhood and for quite sometime, this has been the focus,” he said.  (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita