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The Sheraton Grand Art Collection has been curated by Sublime Galleria in a journey that has spanned two and a half years. The result is over 550 works of art by 6 of India’s most promising artists. From minimalist abstraction on rice paper to contemporarizations of 14th century Indo-Persian tomb murals, 4.5 metre textile installations to photo-realistic porcelain and brass sculptures inspired by the lotus, every work of art has been sitespecifically created to suit each space. Every guest room has at least one work of art and each public area features its own unique collection.
The Reception and Lobby Lounge feature 3 works by Bangalore based artist Srikala Gangi Reddy. Two large vertical canvases are inspired by a 14th century mural located in the tomb of a Bahamani Sultan, in Bidar, North Karnataka, while the third piece is a 7 panelled painting based on the iconic silver and black Bidri platter.
Srikala travelled to Bidar, exploring the architecture, the beautiful stonework and the artisans still crafting this unique art. Wandering around the town gave her the inspiration for these paintings, each telling a story of tombs, of kings long dead, of hands holding these pieces centuries ago, of the beauty of precision. Hundreds of little motifs painstakingly and devotedly painted stroke-by-stroke come together in tribute to this ancient Indo-Persian art form.
Featuring 7 large rice paper collages on canvas and a 15 foot textile wall installation encased in acrylic, Chime, the lobby bar, has one of the largest and most awe inspiring collections in the hotel. Created by Sachin Deo from Indore, the canvases feature layers upon layers of translucent rice paper and thread meditatively assembled in a journey of creation that spanned over a year. The largest work is 33 feet in length and took over three months to create. The wall installation features a collage of textiles and thread, overlaid by a translucent print on the installations surface, split into 28 boxes of varying depths. This subtle blend of colour, depth and medium come together with light to create an experience that changes the longer it is observed and with different times of day and night.
The Sheraton’s pan-asian restaurant InAzia features a collection of 11 abstracts inspired by Bangalore by Srikala Gangi Reddy. The collection falls into 3 distinct series; Blossom, inspired by the most vibrant flowering trees of Bangalore: the Gulmohar, the Bougainvillea, and the Copper Pod; Journey of the Sky follows the changes of light in a Bangalorean sky through a full day; and Paddy Fields, celebrating Bangalore’s vibrant rice fields.
The hotel’s contemporary multicuisine restaurant Feast features 6 towering Bidri inspired semi-abstract canvases by Aurovillian artist Adil Writer. These works are of special significance to the Parsi artist, as the Bidri school of art is heavily influenced by Persian art and the word Parsi literally translates to “of Persian descent”. Historians believe that an Iranian craftsman was brought down to Bidar in the 14th century by the then Sultan Ahmed Shah Bahmani to decorate the royal palace and courts. His work, in collaboration with local craftsmen, became the form of bidriware practiced since the reign of the second Sultan Allauddin Bahmani. The works feature Adil’s signature style of swirling abstract patterns in acrylic and clay, along with motifs of Bidriware artifacts. The space also features a collection of ceramic sculpture from the artist.
The pre-function corridor of the Scarlet Ballroom showcases a collection of 11 large minimalist abstract paintings and 1 led backlit wall installation from the artist, Sachin Deo. Bourne out of the artist’s lifelong journeys in spirituality, yoga and meditation, this series of paintings titled The White Series are Sachin’s most accomplished works thus far. Collages of delicate rice paper are painstakingly assembled on white canvases in layers in an attempt to convey a sense of peace and calm to the observer. The minimalist paintings are juxtaposed with a textile based acrylic wall installation that introduces a splash of vibrancy into the space.
Located on the 6th floor of the hotel, the Sheraton Club features sculpture and paintings throughout the space. At the entrance of the lounge is Twilight, a large wall sculpture in the shape of a lotus by Bangalorean artist Gopinath Subbanna. Anybody who has ever observed a lotus flower emerging from a murky pond cannot fail to see the beauty of this exquisite plant. The lotus flower has come to be associated with magnanimity and beauty. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. It is a symbol of the purity of heart and mind in Indian culture.
The inner space features 3 abstract paintings inspired by water titled The Ocean, The Lake and The Pond. The ceaseless waves of the ocean, glimmering in the sun, showing glimpses of the world under its surface; the restrained calmness of the lake, pushing outside its edges, yet lapping away gently; the unfettered happiness of a little pond, housed under trees, decorated with floating petals and welcomed by little feet of children, as wayward as the petals; these three different facets of water around us, captured forever as seen by the heart and mind of the artist Srikala Gangi Reddy.
One of the largest collections of art in the Sheraton Grand, the Presidential Suite features 12 paintings and sculpture from 4 different artists. The living and dining area contains abstracts from Senior Bangalorean artist, Milind Nayak, and is inspired by the sea before a storm. The bedrooms contain works by Hyderabad based artist, Vijit Pillai and are inspired by the monuments of Karnataka. The space also features impasto abstract paintings by Srikala Gangi Reddy and sculpture by Gopinath Subbanna. The works come together to provide the experience of beauty and vibrancy fitting for one of the hotel’s most exclusive spaces.
Badami caves found in Karnataka is a testimony to the brilliant works of artisans from the Chalukya period which reigned from 543 AD to 753 AD. The temples here are the typical rock cut architecture that is synonymous with this period. Its mystery, charming as it is, inspires all audiences alike and sure enough it inspired Mr. Manjunath Wali to create a series of works to celebrate and explore these beautiful caves in his paintings. Wali, as he is fondly known by his friends and family, belongs to a village not far from Badami. This gave him an opportunity to be one with the caves for a long time. The boyish wonder in him reminiscences this iconic place through his latest series aptly titled Once Upon a Time.
The word balance has multitude of depth. It could be the physical, inner, societal etc. This painting seems to be an observation of both the external and internal balance. It could also be representational of what the artist had to go through when he moved away from his home town. Working in a city whilst keeping your connections with your organic roots is nothing short of balancing act on a tight rope.
Continuing the use of the word balance as a metaphor, Wali expertly expresses this feeling in this painting. Here the focus seems more centric to the femininity and its poise which creates an equilibrium in one’s life that is unperturbed by external commotion.
The bright blue skies with fluffy white clouds is figurative of what everyone dreams of when they think of a bond that is based on mutual understanding. This painting is mimetic of the artist’s connection with either his brother or a close friend from back home. Here their thoughts seem to merge together reminding them of home and everything that it signifies.
In South India most temples have a tradition of keeping elephants as divine chariots known locally as ambari, that take the deities on their rounds of the holy place. This painting is reminiscence of perhaps one such memory of the artist from his life in a village near Badami. The elements in the painting seems like road map that this ambari would take.
This simple life form has taken a surrealistic shape in the mind of Wali and it takes shape beautifully. It seems intangible with a myriad of things unfolding as the soul of the tree. Yet again this is depictive of the artist’s past. The art work is illustrative and childlike. The elements in the tree continue to be the specific places that the artist remembers from his childhood and he background could be the mundane life in the city.
The transition from a village to the city can be quite daunting. Apart from physical entities that you need to move with, there is whole set of memories that need to be carefully wrapped to take, to remember the parts of you that might or might not have room in the new world. This painting is indicative of all the memories packed and ready for the journey.
The first painting in this title is reminiscence of the beginning of the move and this painting seems to announce the arrival of the artist in the big city with all the pots and pans and the belongings to mark the start of new journey.
This painting is like a carnival filled with a riot of colours. The art work represents all the vibrancy of festivals which are celebrated with much exuberance in the villages of India. The artist has added a whimsical element by making the artwork upside down.
The artworks feature a few elements like the tree,the temple, the houses etc., that are a recurring theme in these set of art works by Wali. They have allegorical importance in his work and connects the audience with his past very well!