Sculptor Atul Sinha plays with spaces in wood in new works


New Delhi : Sculptor Atul Sinha, who has been using wood as a medium for his artistic expression since 1993, has experimented with the three-dimensional aspect of the medium and played with light and shade to create contrasting spaces in his new body of work titled “Space Beyond Innovation”.

Support TwoCircles

Wood sourced from dead trees that steers clear of environmental posers has been chiselled to delicate tones in 30 sculptures on display at the Art Konsult Gallery in the capital. The show that opened Oct 21 closes Nov 10.

Sinha has peeled off layers from the wood in his figurative sculptures to show its natural texture, layers and surface colours that vary from a dull shade of brown earth, rich sienna, chocolate to the light ochre, beige and the quartzite yellow of the sand.

The figures, mostly of “man and woman”, are post-modern fused with bits of ethnic Indian motifs – which can be best described as a cross between Henry Moore and the slender Dokra figurines of the Indian tribal heartland.

The artist was influenced by Henry Moore while training at MS University in Vadodara.

Many of his sculptures have been inspired by the Buddhist art of Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti Valley, which the sculptor toured recently.

A sculpture of Ganesha, in the avatar of Vinayak, is interesting because of its smooth and restrained lines that make the portly deity look like a wise and sombre old man.

“I have always been interested in wood and sculptures. I first started sculpting in Sanawar because wood could be sourced easily. However, I took up sculpting seriously after I went to Baroda (now Vadodara),” Sinha told IANS.

The artist also uses ceramics, glass, papier mache, bronze, metal and clay as his mediums.

Sinha prefers to call his sculptures interactive art rather than decorative woodcraft. “I use wood in such a way that it responds to my chisel. I am not dictated by the medium, but I play with it,” he said.

“Nostalgia of the Infinite” – the sculpture of a long wooden boat that resembles a catamaran mounted on a pedestal, is an example of how the medium can be twisted and distorted to show off its rich layers underneath the drab wooden surface.

According to art critic Suneet Chopra, Sinha’s work has been evolving over the decades. In the late 1980s, he developed “sculptures for use”- which were not just furniture but art in themselves.

He is one of the few artists who struck a balance between art and design. “His sculptures are some of the best we have in contemporary Indian art,” Chopra said.

Born in 1963 and schooled in the Lawrence School in Sanawar, Sinha trained in sculpture in Vadodara. He has held several solo and group shows across the country and abroad and has an impressive list of buyers.

His works, purchased by Che Guevera’s daughter Aleida Guevara March, are displayed in the Ernesto Che Guevera Centre in Cuba. Princess Amir Tchoupani, the princess of Chile in South America, is also one of his fans and buyers, along with several influential Portuguese and German family collectors.