The team at TARQ is thrilled to present Osmosis—a group exhibition of artists Rithika Merchant, Samanta Batra Mehta, and Savia Mahajan, curated by Shaleen Wadhwana. The exhibition, which is a result of months of conversations between the artists and the curator, works with the ideas and the knowledge of the symbiotic universal truths of life, namely death, distance and belonging – which are beautifully articulated in a catalogue essay.
Wadhwana says,”Looking at different artists’ practises, one often studies their points of intersection to understand where, and if, they meet. Recording collected histories, myths and stories, through mark making with pigment and ink, is where the practises of Savia, Rithika and Samanta form a conjoined language. They lend the viewer an insight into their ideas of how they feel at ‘home’ and their phoenix-like acceptance: that new life arises on the ashes of its predecessor.”
In the exhibition, Wadhwana explores how each of the artists decodes the cyclical processes of life and death while unpacking an understanding of what distance and belonging mean. The artists investigate these ideas in their works, through interactions with nature, politics, culture, society, religion, history and geography. Each floor of TARQ has been envisioned as a point of thematic intersection between the artists’ practises, through their use of mediums; all three engage intensely with drawing. While Rithika Merchant and Samanta Batra Mehta incorporate layering in their two dimensional works, Savia Mahajan and Samanta Batra Mehta work with three dimensional found objects, with Mahajan specifically engaging deeply with ceramic. This immersive display invites the viewers to place themselves at crossroads of three diverse artists’ practises and take a pause to reflect on their ‘osmotic’ ideas.
This exhibition is presented in partnership with Access For All initiative, they are the Accessibility Consultant for Osmosis.
About the Curator
Shaleen Wadhwana (b. 1991) received a BA History (Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi) and MA Art History and Archaeology (SOAS, London), and has academic expertise in Art Appreciation (National Museum Institute, Delhi). She is a recipient of the Scholarship of Excellence for Cultural Heritage Law (University of Geneva) and is a Young India Fellow (Ashoka University). She has presented her academic research on embedded histories in objects looted during the 1857 Mutiny at University College London. She has previously worked in museums and galleries like the Heritage Transport Museum, Haryana and Chemould Prescott Road Gallery, Mumbai. Shaleen curates art and heritage based experiences for a wide spectrum of audiences. These range from universities like Michigan, Harvard, and IISER to NGOs like Slam Out Loud, and the Government of Maharashtra. She has recently co-authored an article for the Ministry of External Affairs of India about the impact of the Lodi Art District on its nearby communities.Presently, she is a visiting faculty at the Design Management Department of MIT Institute of Design, Pune and the Humanities curriculum designer for their Innovation programme. Osmosis marks the beginning of her curatorial journey, the idea of which was born in her classroom in Pune.