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Title:        "GAIA" Solo show of Preetha Kannan

Dates:      24 Dec'10 - 8 Jan'11

The concept of Preetha’s show is represented by the title “Gaia”, which is a Greek word for the earth goddess.

In science, the Gaia theory proposes that Earth is composed of various components which have been constantly balancing each other in order to have a healthy self-sustaining earth. But with climate change caused by unchecked human industrial activity, will that continue? Can earth and life, as we know it, sustain themselves? This is Preetha’s central concern.

As an artist, Preetha looks at Gaia as made up of the five elements of Land, Air, Water, Fire and Sky. She intends to create five shows over the coming years, one for each element. In the present show, Preetha has concentrated on the element of Land, through the symbol of the tree, and evoked its pristine quality through the raw celebratory power of richly unique color.

Preetha’a art perhaps subconsciously derives from her close association with Baba Amte and Medha Patkar in the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Her focus is not pure aesthetics in terms of beauty and sublimity, rather her aim is to establish an empathy for ‘the spirit of trees’ as she refers to it.

While the above explains the socio-political context of Preetha’s work, her current show GAIA also makes the history of modern art comes alive as one makes associations through landscapes painted in the past centuries by the great European masters . This is her critical approach, introspecting memory, delving into it for a personal interpretation, in which images of the landscape and Nature from the past also embody cultural memory. Despite its postmodern approach in looping to tradition in representing Nature, Preetha’s is a narrative of quest, a search for belonging, for finding identity through expression.

GAIALOGUE: the video

Preetha created the 42 ft by 6.6 ft. painting, a powerful symbol of pure unpolluted nature, as represented by a rich green forest, in a metal works factory. The video presents a vision of this paradoxical event.

Gallery Beyond at INDIA ART SUMMIT 20 - 23 JAN 2011 Booth No C 23


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