Looking Back is Looking Forward by G. Gurunathan

Start Date : 06 May 2024

End Date : 22 May 2024

Over the last few years Gurunathan’s works have emerged from the understanding that art and life are not separate. This philosophy manifested in the manner in which he engaged with materials and processes. He now takes this further by finding inspiration in the here and now- his neighbourhood.

Living in Padi (Chennai), a suburb known for its industries, he often saw metal barrels, used for storing various liquids, being recycled. He uses the coloured, discoloured, rusted and weathered metal surfaces of these objects to create his current series of artworks. These works map his immediate world and the life of the city using the objects that are consumed by its population. At the same time, the rugged materiality, scale and appearance of the works kindle memories of distant landscapes filled with greenery, water bodies, mountains and vast spaces.

Gurunathan sees a parallel between the elements of nature that shape a landscape and the artificial and natural forces weathering the objects he works with - both act slowly yet steadily creating change. Furthermore, these transformative forces share much with the creative process which follows its own internal order untouched by the pressures of speed, productivity and utility. An artist’s harmony with the creative rhythm transforms the perception of time- accelerating or decelerating its passage, alters experience- converting the physical act of making into a meditative process and transforms subjectivity- creating a sense of oneness with the environment around.

Gurunathan’s work is an exercise in sharing this magic of making that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. In his own work, he demonstrates this by using commonplace urban fragments that metamorphose into maps of unseen worlds. As he bridges the near with the distant, an industrial space with the space of art, the mundane with the abstract and the past with the present, he creates a web of connections between different kinds of making, perceptions and experiences. Through this, he takes yet another step forward in his journey towards realising the oneness of creation.

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