Manisha Parekh’s welded steel and enamel paint wall installation at New Delhi’s Shrine Empire Gallery represents the Indian artist’s exploration with the form of the ‘line’, while bringing into focus the play of light, shadows and space.

On the face of it, this artwork evokes an urban setting where so many scaffolding-like structures are a common sight. For Parekh, however, these exhibits stand for connections or relationships that are forged through conversations between two bodies or people.

With the presence of shadows behind each of the objects, the artist wants to know: what is real or illusory? Is its sculptural quality real or the shadow created by it?

It is obvious that the installation does not depict anything specific that one could identify with—a kind of work that is often referred to as ‘non-representational’. It is for this reason that Parekh’s practice is mostly referred to as ‘abstract art’- a label she is not comfortable with.

And yet, her works tend to evoke an experience, which could easily be in the form of a memory or any other kind of association. It is like music, the artist says. Sometimes we are not able to comprehend its language but simply listening to it develops a connection.

Manisha Parekh, Is it me or is it you?

The exhibit is part of Shrine Empire Gallery’s exhibition ‘Shadow Lines: Experiments with Light, Light and Liminality’ (April 6 – May 18, 2019)

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