EAST-WEST, an exquisite exhibition of photographs by Gulbenkian scholar Antonio Julio Duarte glorifies the unity of man transcending geographic limits. With a vast array of black and white pictures, displayed at the Fundacao Oriente art gallery in Panjim, Duarte takes one back in time and space.

The talented lensman was born in Lisbon in 1965 and studied at the Royal College of Art in London. A Kodak Award (Portugal) winner in 1990, Duarte has participated in various exhibitions in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and elsewhere. Travelling far and wide, the Portuguese photographer attempts to document the history of his country in the Orient, which it ruled once. His photographs exhibited well defined geometrics and an obvious penchant for the square format and scattered light.

Rigorous lines emerge from each fascinating frame, depicting masculine virility in humans and similar rustic elements in nature. The graceful elements imbue Duarte’s photographs with timelessness as he goes about capturing man’s inseparable communion with mankind, in ancestral patterns and traditions.

The Consulate General of Portugal too held an exhibition of the paintings of Rui de Menezes Mesquita and Herculano Silva at the Jose de Guimaraes Art Gallery at the Consulate General, EDC Complex, Patto-Panjim, earlier on April 4.

The usual art hangout, the Art Chamber of Galeria de Belas Artes in Calangute, joined the Fulbright Foundation (US) and the United States Education Fund India, to set up an interesting workshop in printmaking recently. Conducting the impressive workshop was noted Goan painter and printmaker, Hanuman Kambli. The works created at the workshop are on display at the Art Gallery.

Goans have been making waves beyond the State too. The Harmony Excellence Awards for the emerging artists of the year 2001, for example, was awarded to petite painter Ms Rajeshree Thakker of Goa. The award carries a purse of rupees one lakh and was presented to Rajeshree during the Reliance Harmony Show 2001. The hi-profile affair was inaugurated by veteran filmstars Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu at Mumbai’s Nehru Centre recently.

Born in 1965 in Vasco da Gama, Rajeshree graduated at the College of Art, Panjim. Her works already enjoy a pride of place in private collections in India and abroad. She first participated in "Spectrum", an art exhibition, at the Menezes Braganza Hall in Panjim in May 1986. Since then the young and talented artist has not looked back. She had several solo exhibitions besides participating in group shows all over the country.

Her earlier works generally revolved around visual motifs like scarecrows and other things but rarely came close to tackling the human form. Though she could have done fairly well given the fact that she excels in portraying subtle pathos in her work. Eventually when she could bottle her creative feelings no longer for her fair gender, Rajeshree broke the shell and her canvas began sporting the female form but always in subdued, greyish shades against a brighter background.

Rajeshree hails from the Gujarati cultural ancestry but has blended herself and her creativity admirably in the colourful Goan environs. More awards and honours await the rather shy looking but highly proficient artist.

The State government too appears to be recognising the fact that artists need recognition and financial support to help develop their latent talent. They have taken a fine step by sanctioning financial assistance to the tune of Rs.2,30,400 to 72 indigent artists under the scheme of the Directorate of Art and Culture.

At the Goa College of Arts, wellknown Mumbai-based Goan painter Anand Mohan Naik conducted an interesting workshop on stained glass painting and on his speciality of relief painting, for the art students. Students of both painting and applied arts participated in the workshop along with some members of the teaching staff. The enchanting works resulting from the workshop was displayed at the college. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shantaram Rane of the Kala Academy.

The Kala Academy in collaboration with the Lalit Kala Akademy, has put a reciprocal show of paintings by wellknown artists from Bangalore. The artists, whose paintings figure in the exhibition, include K K Hebar, G S Shenoy, V S Vasudeo, K S Vishwamber (former head of printmaking at the Goa College and present principal of Bangalore’s Chitrakala Parishad), Vijay Bagodi, G R Eranna and others. Earlier during the month, the paintings of Goan artists were exhibited in Bangalore. Unfortunately, the event lost most of its sheen because the works were not displayed in the enclosure leading to the AC auditorium but the not the art gallery proper.

Rajan Fulari