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A layered investigation of the mind

Glimpses from the Artscapes, an exhibition curated by Agami Design Studio, displaying the work of multiple artists and media from 23rd to 31st Jan at Agami, The Design Galleria.

“Intricate and layered investigation of the mind.” By Janaki Lele

On a nippy Sunday evening, I visited the Agami Design Galleria, parked in a beautiful tree-canopied bylane in Kalyani Nagar to view their Artscapes2021 exhibition, displaying a cross-section of curated art from urban sketches, metal sculpting installations, oil and acrylic paintings to paper mache designs and calligraphy.

I was particularly intrigued by Janaki Lele’s Hand Cut paper artworks.

Taking a leap from the conventional two-dimensional painting to a three-dimensional kaleidoscopic format, the pieces’ immersive quality compels the viewer in the artist’s words to “slow down from a hurried glance to an elaborate inspection in which new details come to attention.”

Through several pieces like ‘Cities that feel like home’ to ‘Cultural chameleon’ to 'Defiant' to an untitled piece which to me resembled like a magical forest, the pieces have an anecdotal quality and can transform an everyday wall into the focal point of the room by adding dizzying dimensions of meaning to a flat surface.

You discover or rather stumble onto several intersecting stories presented through the intricate detailing and layering of paper cutouts.

So whether it's chancing upon a couple soaring skyward on a swing or watching a house float by in the ocean, held aloft by what looks simultaneously like parachutes or jellyfish (depending on what you want it to be) to a train chugging down a rollercoaster track, or a man astride a careening skateboard on a tree branch, the pieces reveal a dizzying array of intertwining life segments against one cohesive backdrop.

In the heavily distracted world of today, pieces like these invite you to leave aside the outside and enter the inner labyrinth of your own mind to explore your own stories.

Speaking about the pieces, Janaki says, “They delve into the human mind, imagining it to be a constantly changing space, where the architecture, scenarios, and activities are representative of its state of being. The final piece is often intricately detailed with a touch of the whimsy.”

Janaki takes her inspiration from the delightful and soulful Gond Art by the Gond tribe of Madhya Pradesh, being constantly moved by their colourful paintings which are a testimony to their fantastic imagination, powerful drawing skills, and minute detailing.

Born in India, Lele studied to be an Architect. Subsequently, she taught herself to be a Visual Artist and has had her work exhibited at several reputable venues in Sydney, before moving to Adelaide.

Her art has been held in several private collections in Australia and India. In 2014 she had an installation of her paper sculptures along the beloved Bondi coast for Sculpture by the Sea.

You can view her art and work by other artists at Agami The Design Galleria – Agami The Design Galleria, Bungalow no. 8, behind German Bakery Wunderbar, Kalyani Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411006


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