Image above: ©Atul Bhall, Excerpt from Untitled, (Boat Making), 2014. Courtesy Atul Bhalla and sepiaEYE.
SepiaEYE presented on March 5th, 2015 You always step into the same river, a solo exhibition of new work by Atul Bhalla. Consisting of color photographs and a three-channel video work, the exhibition features the artist’s continuing investigation of our innate yet simultaneously informed connection—our emotional, cultural, physical, and even political ties—with the element of water. Seeking insight into our cultural and spiritual identity in relationship to the rapidly changing environment, Bhalla utilizes photography, sculpture, installation, and performance to examine our shared relationship with water and its inseparable capacity to be both symbol and source of renewal.
©Atul Bhall, (left) Dhani, 2014; (right) I Was Happy Only for 5 Minutes, 2014. Courtesy Atul Bhalla and sepiaEYE.
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
— Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
Image above: ©Atul Bhall, Still from Adrift (On Dvaipayana), 2014, Three-Channel Video Projection. Courtesy Atul Bhalla and sepiaEYE.
Included in the exhibition will be images from Bhalla’s new series Deliverance, centered on the construction of a traditional hand-crafted wooden boat, the series Inundation, 2012-2014, as well as his recent video Adrift (On Dvaipayana), 2014. In the oversize image Deliverance, 2013, the boat is suspended expectantly, mid-point between sky and water as the wooden structure is lowered into the river. Contemplating the craft’s twin definitions as both human concept and as utilitarian object during this nascent moment of realization, Bhalla illuminates not only the shared environmental concerns of a new generation but also our ongoing quest to maintain harmony and equilibrium within the constantly shifting contours of our natural surroundings.
Image above: ©Atul Bhall, Deliverance, 2013, Three-Channel Video Projection. Courtesy Atul Bhalla and sepiaEYE.