Shortlisted works by Abir on display at 2nd Edition of ‘First Take’ exhibition in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad: Among 6 winners and 90 artworks shortlisted at Abir ‘First Take 2017’ from an array of 1360 entries from 118 cities, a strong sense of achievement rings true for natural dye proponent Ruby Jagrut. The platform thrown open by her in 2016 to celebrate art across genres is in its second edition now and has successfully penetrated into the farthest contours of India to sieve out brilliant artists. It has ably encouraged and felicitated aspiring talents and assimilated connoisseurs.

Bhartti Verma from New Delhi and Nayana Melinamani from Gulbarga have been adjudged the winners among painters. Srinivas Pulagam from Vadodara has been declared the Print winner while Krunal Kahar from Vadodara and Abhijit Nigade from Pune have clinched the top slots among the sculptors. Anju Paliwal from Lucknow is the Ceramic Sculpture winner. All awards were bestowed by Chief Guest Achal Bakeri, MD & Chairman, Symphony Limited.

All the shortlisted works however, will be displayed at the 2nd Edition of ‘First Take’ exhibition at Kanoria Centre for Arts and L & P Hutheesing Visual Art Centre from September 9—16, 2017 from 4—8PM, open to sale as well.

All entries have experimented with mediums to add shape to intellect on canvas. Most of them would have reconciled to a life in oblivion, had it not been for Abir, a charitable trust established to give lesser known originators a domain to thrive and correct their course through mentorship.

Completing an exhaustive 3-month long assessment, the esteemed panel of juries comprising culture critic, art curator and writer Johny ML based in New Delhi, prolific Indian contemporary artist Manu Parekh, stylized folk art specialist Madhvi Parekh and Walter D’Souza, an expert sculptor noted for his practice in the print medium, picked the best after a tough test of prudence.

Ruby herself, in her early years challenged the mainstream tenor of art. She took to natural dyes, lesser known in her times, as her chosen medium to etch the perfect stroke. She was among the very few to have taken forward the legacy of Late Toofan Rafai, revered for art using natural dye globally. For her, it was easy to leap from a career in mass communications to find her calling in canvas. To carve a niche in the entire art fraternity of Gujarat was no little task.

“I was driven by my passion for the natural dyes. The blocks to my progress in between appeared insignificant in comparison. Yes, I have struggled. And perhaps my experience led me to the idea of Abir. I felt, everyone had the right to be an artist if they wanted to be one. All genres must be respected for the effort that goes into. One didn’t necessarily have to be trained in a recognized institute to be able to discover art forms. At Abir First Take 2017, the sheer flow of entries and their quality has overwhelmed us,” said Ruby Jagrut.

Natural dyes in fact, have been used in art forms since primitive ages. Bhimbetka rock shelters of Madhya Pradesh are the living testimony of the natural dye art form that has survived 30,000 summers. Ruby Jagrut has been steadfastly promoting the use of only natural dyes that she painstakingly creates using different ingredients like turmeric, pomegranate, volcanic soil, red earth, mosses, iron ore and more. She has done an interesting series on women characters of Mahabharata in 12 series. She has been doing workshops across India to encourage the young talent to use ‘natural dyes’ while painting.

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