Humans have a constant urge to map, and to generate a mental or physical familiarity and sense of belonging with an idea, sensation, object or place. It is often an unconscious response that blends internal processes with external observation, connecting the real and imaginary. Over the decades Parvathi Nayar has distilled such responses and articulated them visually. Within ‘Atlas of Re-imaginings’ viewers are invited to enter into the artist’s personal atlas, that furthers her preoccupation with the processes of mapping memory, topography, space and scale. Her practice forms an aware connection between the physics, geography and anatomy of any element she chooses to explore, with the invention of secondary worlds being an organic artistic outcome of these investigations.
Water forms a central motif through the compilation of work. Water: in its scarcity and abundance, as the ubiquitous resource we take for granted, and the element that composes a large part of our bodies and our planet. The focus shifts from tiny droplets of moisture and rain, to the mesmerising quality of flowing water, leading on to consciousness of the power and destructiveness of inundating waves and flowing torrents, and finally in aerial view, vast swathes of delta land criss-crossed with veins of a river. Nayar brings a balance between a formal engagement with the visual and material aspects, and the socio-political-environmental dialogues that surround water. Conceptually, the theme follows a recognition of polarities and the manner in which they overlap and balance in natural phenomena - chaos and order; motion and stillness; plenitude and scarcity.
Nayar peels off the outer layers of a subject and allows the core to become visible. Inscape – a term used by English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins – articulates a recognition of the individuality of every natural thing, and embraces its internal essence.