Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Amalgamating love for art and architecture

The idyllic township just near Puducherry, Auroville, has developed into an abode for avant-garde design in the country, over the years. Here architect Ganesh Bala has opted to make space in his home-n-studio for his growing collection of paintings. His extensive engagement with the field of art precedes his 15 years of foray in architecture.

It’s painting that has possibly brought him to architecture school,” according to him. His revelation outlines a familiar narrative, that of the artistically inclined practitioner veering towards architecture or civil engineering largely because of a system driven by hardcore ‘career’ and ‘profession’ oriented demands. In fact, one of the residential projects he undertook, a house apparently floating on an artificial pool of water, won second prize at The Architect& Interiors India Awards in 2011.

Simultaneously, Ganesh Bala mostly creates abstract figurative works, done in acrylic on paper. In the past, he has worked on landscapes and portraits. Presently he is focusing on animals like buffaloes and cows as motifs. Thanks to his architectural background and experience, he has tried to intersect the two streams over time. He also recalls asking the late French architect, Roger Anger, (designer of Auroville) about his prolific output driven by architectural work. The two though connected, had no formal link, Anger had said.

The artist-cum-architect, Bala, himself believes that painting feeds him courage; and it’s the letting go aspect, which is the most vital one to him while working on a canvas. Elements like texture, form and composition are all secondary, he adds. In a recent news story, unraveling the bond between art and architecture, The mint columnist Anindita Ghose, mentions: “Looking at his stunning rammed earth walls and residential spaces whose principal components seem to be reinforced concrete and sunshine, you can know he actually uses this courage well.”

While Ganesh Bala has shown his works of art in group exhibitions, he is perhaps too busy with his architectural responsibilities to push his passion for art and to network with gallerists.

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