Saturday, February 20, 2010

Divvya & Arjun Nirula reveal their artistic side with Captured Glass

For Divvya and Arjun Nirula, their first exhibition together—Captured Glass—is an opportunity to give expression to the family’s artistic talent
Divvya & Arjun Nirula

and thought. The siblings belong to the famous family that set up fast food chain Nirula’s. “I was never cut out to join the family business and have always been keen on creative pursuits. After we sold our stake in the family business, it was time for my parents, my sister and me to actively move into artistic pursuits which we all love. The current exhibition is the first collaborative effort from our family,” says Arjun Nirula.

The exhibition, which is on at Arpana Caur’s Academy of Fine Arts and Literature in Delhi between Feb 20 and Feb 28, showcases work contained within the framework of two traditions - stained glass and stone carvings and etchings.

While Divvya Nirula is an art curator and consultant, Arjun is a film-maker. The family’s Nirula Family Company is into art investment and advisory services. “Even though we advise our clients on how to make money out of art, we also help them to form their own understanding of art. We advise them to invest at least a part of their portfolio on young and upcoming artists,” says Divvya.

The works at the exhibition are inspired by the universal mysticism and balance and was created around the playful nature of light and dark. “We had long discussions with our parents Renoo and Nalin Nirula and the pieces that have been created have become extensions of our discussions and expressions of our perceptions,” adds Divvya.

The family now plans to make this an annual affair. “We are already working on ideas for the next exhibition and I’m travelling to Italy to meet companies that make different kinds of glass. We hope to be able to tie-up with some of them in getting good material into India,” said Divvya Nirula. The family foundation Star Light also plans to provide a platform for various artists and art forms from India and overseas. “We will diversify into various forms including performing arts. From a very young age, I have pursued music and dancing, while my brother has been trained in theatre and films. We will not restrict ourselves to any one art form alone,” she says.

The Captured Glass exhibition is a fusion of western and eastern art forms and combines stained glass and Nakashi work. A diverse range of material has also been used such as glass, stone, wood and semi-precious stone. “This exploration of the battle between light and darkness took us more than a year to put together. There is a huge amount of interest in these works and the exhibition is already 100% sold out. People are showing a great interest in the next exhibition which we plan in a year’s time,” says Arjun Nirula.

What is adding to the interest in the exhibition is the fact that Divyya is curating it herself. It has been divided into four chapters namely The Falling; The Dialectics of Light and Dark; Form - where the artwork is presented in the forms of panels and mandalas and a fountain - and the concluding chapter, which is more of a beginning.

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