How the pandemic has helped people realize the true values of life – in conversation with Lisa Pingale, Monalisa Kalagram
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly column of Your story, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the previous 645 posts, we featured a arts festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom fair, millet fair, exhibition on climate change, wildlife conference, boot festival, diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
The works of 60 artists were presented recently during the exhibition entitled Contemporary signatures. The exhibition took place at the aptly named Monalisa Kalagram in Pune, founded by mother-daughter duo, Mona and Lisa Pingale.
“The featured artists are a mix of very big names in contemporary Indian art, masters and up-and-coming young names,” explains gallery co-founder Lisa Pingale in a conversation with Your story.
In this photographic essay, we present the works of artists such as Arti Kirloskar (Tropical forest), Asit Patnaik (Affection), Bandana Kumari (i am queen), Das HR (loving love), Kamar Alam (To believe), and Om Swami (Ganesha).
Other artists include Seema Kohli (Kamdhenu), Shreekanth Kurva (Roosters), Shri Kumar Adhikari (Maharaja, Maharani), Siddharth Shingade (Baraat), Vivek Kumawat (Nandis dancing), and Sharad Kale.
Looking back on the pandemic, Lisa identifies key lessons artists and audiences have learned from the crisis. “More than the artists, I think our viewers have undergone a dynamic change,” she observes.
“We have higher attendance and very good sales. The pandemic seems to have given people time to look back and realize the true values of life,” Lisa says.
Some of the artworks cost between Rs 40,000 to Rs 8 lakh. They cover a wide range of rural and contemporary themes, in paintings as well as in sculptures.
As an artistic hub, Monalisa Kalagram carries out a number of activities for and by the artistic community. “We have organized a varied program mix of events in the field of art and culture,” says Lisa.
“We have organized large craft bazaars that feature traditional artisans, as well as contemporary art, sculptures and ceramics,” she describes.
The art gallery is located right next to Pingale Farms in Koregaon Park, with a large lawn and a trendy cafe. The cottage-like gallery is a popular hub for the creative community.
“We’ve done music concerts, film screenings, book readings, and even farmers’ markets,” Lisa concludes proudly.
Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All photographs in the exhibition were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the gallery.)