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Gratitude isn’t very hard a concept to grasp. As children, we’re given a 360 degree education of it, with the hope that we will practice it as we grow and evolve into ‘responsible adults’. Still, while some individuals do practice being thankful, there’s others who lose their understanding of it. It’s safe to say that our first step to a less shallow existence could be to consciously and mindfully exercise a simple ‘Thank you’ as part of our everyday lives.
Grazie Infinite, a collection of artworks by artist Shraddha Rathi, is one such conscious attempt to further embrace the wonders of being thankful. Having bumped into the idea while in New York, the artist had an instant appreciation of it and took it forward with a sense of purpose. Using wood and steel as her canvas, Shraddha’s work includes park benches, swings and a see-saw with carefully carved out text on them, with the subject being none other than “Gratitude”.
Photographs in monochrome are a real standout from the collection. Inspired by New York’s Central Park and the personalized plaques on the park benches, as part of the Adopt-a-Bench program, the artist has photographed these precious notes of gratitude as part of Grazie Infinite. Through these images, and the heart-warming words inscribed on the plaques, the artist has managed to reveal to her audience the depth of the matter in focus here - Gratitude. The joy of seeing a mere line or two inscribed and permanently sealed for you by a loved one is enough to help one realize that they will never be alone and will be forever loved.
As you take yourself through this collection, one cannot help but notice a lone piece of art that may seem like the oddball of the party. Stay curious enough and you’ll realize that this is a conceptual artwork of Bengaluru’s beloved park Lal Bagh. According to Shraddha, and I’m sure we’d all agree, it shouldn’t be so hard for us to show the same level of gratitude to the parks and spaces in our own city. In fact, we should be inspired to do a lot more.
A sweet touch to this collection was the projection of a number of gratitude notes that were sent to the artist as a response to her artwork from people far and wide. Again, these contain small heartfelt messages to friends and loved ones. Clearly, there’s people out there who think the quality of thanking and appreciating is the need of the hour.