Contextual Perception – Students’ Biennale•4th Edition

Contextual Perception

Contemporary scenarios and everyday woes became central to the works of this group. The artists have responded to topics such as the pandemic, gender restraints and social insecurities to compile the artworks. Ashita Gupta’s ‘Day Dream’ works with impressions on paper pulp and reflects a sense of insecurity through a spiral feeling as if being removed from the roots. Madhavi Srivastava contextualizes the social evil related to gender issues, through her performance being surrounded metaphorically by the news revelations of atrocities towards femininity. Yamini and Shalinee, both tried to show how some people have refurbished their different skills during the lockdown period, expressed through an elaborate quilling technique. Farheen expressed her pandemic tensions and expressions using medical/clinical accessories, at the same time using typography and symbols in her dynamic installation. The perception here is about what is ongoing and around us and applying art to represent these.

Ashita Gupta

Banaras Hindu University

Ashita has drawn inspiration from the most common, and perhaps the most overlooked element in daily lives – dreams. They invoke all kinds of emotions for the seer – there is joy, fear, excitement, anguish, even nostalgia. So while the work is highly personal to Ashita and her dreams, it comes with the potential to relate with anyone who observes the art.

Each of the seven artworks depict Ashita’s dreams over a period of one week, or as she says, the fractions of her dreams that could be recollected. Plaster of Paris serves as the base to mould the dreams, while distinct elements take part to resonate the emotion attached. Pieces of mirror reflect insecurity, a mesh elaborate the spiral nature of thoughts and cut roots point towards endings. 

The dream is bare, realistic and devoid of any glitter. Hence she calls it Dry Dream.


Aligarh Muslim University, UP

Pandemic. Injections, mask, drip. 3’ x 8’

Farheen explores the power of perception to correlate the ongoing pandemic era. The installation – seemingly abstract, derives meaning as the viewing point varies. It is a literal translation of how art is all about perception, Farheen points out. 

The artist has used syringes, masks and drip bottles to envisage what the world is enduring right now. On a closer look, the installation is made up of discrete, meaningful elements about the act of striving by humanity today. The anamorphic nature of the installation is to resonate with the changing perspective about it by different viewers. The messages – of both discrete entities and overall installation is open to the mind of the viewer, says the artist.

Madhvi Srivastava

Lucknow College of Art and Craft

Drishtikod. Mixed media installation and performance. 8′ x 6′
Drishtikod. Mixed media installation and performance. 8′ x 6′

Yamini Baghel, Shalinee

Aligarh Muslim University

Perception of time management(detail). Paper on board. 6’ x 4’

Time is something everyone learned (or unlearned) to manage in the year 2020. Yamini and Shalinee pay tribute to the varied perception of time by humans across the world in the time of the pandemic. They have used the quilling technique to create art on wooden boards. The technique is one among the many that thrived during the lockdown days, as idle people furbished their skills and found various means to express and exhibit. This was a global trend, which signifies the multitude of ways of this perception. For one, the lockdown span became synonymous to the activity they perceived.