Most of what we commonly know about kangaroos is the endearing imagery we associate with the baby kangaroo or joey in it's mother's pouch. But the kangaroo is a powerful animal. Especially the males who, in their ritualized fighting, will often use their tail as a fifth leg to rest on, while they kick each other in the belly.
Drawing on his repertoire of interpreting and illustrating whimsical scenarios using animals in unusual settings, the artist depicts in this painting, what looks to be a very genteel and civil occasion. Contrast the dainty tea party with the strength and power of the two male kangaroos. And the absurdity that goes with it. In reality, kangaroos would not actually be able to simply sit in this position. For this is the position the male would adopt when he is about to kick his opponent in the belly, using his hind legs, while his thick, strong tail props him up to keep his balance.
The painting is titled Ceasefire. The stance of the two kangaroos, in which they might have been sizing each other up before the attack, has instead been replaced with the suggestion that they are trying to make peace. Much like world powers, who might find themselves negotiating at peace talks, a peace that is delicate and fragile. And which could equally be crushed by the power and strength of the opposing parties.
Kittens sail to the moon inside the water buffalo
Presenting our featured work of the fortnight, - this work by Aigars draws inspiration from the first ever science fiction movie - made in 1902 by Georges Méliès, film maker and magician, - Le Voyage dans la Lun. A classic of the silent movie era, it has fantastical sets that are magical spectacles in themselves.
Characteristic of his most recent body of work, where he portrays animals of our everyday world in anthropomorphic settings, Aigars reimagines the plot line of Le Voyage in this painting, except that it is the cats which are journeying to the moon in the very unusual "spaceship" - the buffalo. The cat in the spacesuit represents Professor Barbenfouillis, president of the Astronomers Club, played by Méliès himself, in the movie. The rocket landing in the eye of the man in the moon, is one of the most iconic images in cinematic history.
The theme of depicting animals taking on the role of humans is part of the language he uses to build up the narrative of this parallel world. The sense of power of the buffalo in motion, the use of collage in creating a 3d like illusion of the crew of cats, evoking a subtle sense of movement, the "captain" of the ship looking towards the moon, all take the viewer along in this alternative telling of the original story, with it's wizardry and sense of magic. This work presents a humorous take on the iconic film, with the quirkiness and whimsy that often runs through Aigars' work.
'Zooropia': Maya Rao and Aigars Liepins find magic in the mundane
Nature is full of drama, says Liepins
By Mini P Thomas | Updated: August 06, 2022 12:21 IST
Maya Rao and her husband Aigars Liepins need not go far for inspiration. Peepletree, their art gallery is surrounded by ferns, shrubs and wild trees. A mother cat and her new born kittens enliven the private garden. The artist couple draws heavily on the natural world.
“When the lockdown happened, it was quite amazing. The environment was very quiet and our garden was full of birds. Kingfishers would come and catch fishes in our pond. Doves would roost in our garden,’’ says Liepins who is originally from Latvia.
Zooropia, an exhibition of works of Liepins and Rao that is currently on display at Peepletree, make you smile, laugh and think. The acrylic, mixed media and collage works transport you to a make-believe world wherein kangaroos enjoy a cup of tea peacefully and cats fly to the moon.
Sometimes Liepins and Rao go on bike rides and explore the world outside. “Once we went to North Karnataka on the way to Goa. Over there we saw those sunflower fields,’’ says Rao pointing to one of her paintings. Instead of taking photographs, Rao stayed there and absorbed that image in her mind and came back and painted like a woman possessed. “The windmills behind the sunflower fields, from a distance, looked like huge flowers swaying in the wind,’’ she recalls.
Rao studied architecture before pursuing her passion. She is more inclined towards landscapes and plants and Liepins gets inspired by animals and birds. He observes and cherishes the little things in his garden. Nature is full of drama, says Liepins. “Once a monkey was sitting on our fence and a dog was barking like crazy. The monkey just ignored the dog.” The action packed moments in the garden is depicted beautifully in one of his paintings.
Rao loves bright colours. Her work titled 'Flame of the Forest' was inspired by a wildfire in Bandipur. “On the hill, a huge fire was burning. There were no leaves. Everything had turned into ash.” Liepins turns the mundane into magical. When one of his favourite silk shirts started to disintegrate, he used it to cover the canvas. He creates art out of even worn out duppattas and old denim jeans.
“Are you able to make a living out of this?,” I ask. “I’d say not consistently,” quips Rao. “But you can if you are persistent. Sometimes you have to find the right collectors who resonate with your kind of work. When you build up a relationship with them, then it becomes obviously much easier,” she adds.
Rao looks out of the window even as she talks to me. She is worried about one of her kittens that disappeared two days ago. “ This is the life of stray cats. I don’t know whether they were run over or bitten by other cats,” she says with a heavy heart.
Workshop - sunflowers and styles
Are you an art enthusiast or hobbyist artist? And would you like to learn more about art and various art movements that have shaped our world?
OBJECTIVES - LEARN:
– how to paint sunflowers (realistic and abstract)
– some watercolour techniques
– key features of – popular art movements such as art nouveau, Pop art, surrealism, cubist and post-impressionism
In this series of workshops, you will learn to paint sunflowers - a popular floral subject for many famous artists. You will also learn some technical aspects of water colour painting.
There will be 5 sessions, and in each session, you will learn about and render the subject -(sunflowers)- in the style of a specific art movement.
SUNDAY - 14TH OF AUGUST 2022
FOR DETAILS WHATSAPP 9845753937
Official selection of film festivals
Three of our films are official selections at the following film festivals:
Santa Cruz Moto Film Festival 2021, USA. Official selection - film ‘Jagannath Tour’;
Black Hills Moto Film Festival 2021, USA. Official selection - films ‘Ride to Tadasa Bridge’ and ‘Bike Cargo’;
Adventure Travel Film Festival 2022 in The Cotswolds, UK. Official selection - film ‘Jagannath Tour’;
Adventure Travel Film Festival 2023 in Scotland, UK. Official selection - film ‘Jagannath Tour’;
Adventure Travel Film Festival 2023 in Australia. Official selection - film ‘Jagannath Tour’.
Peepletree Art Gallery is happy to announce that our coworking space is now open.
Are you a freelancer, or a digital nomad, an entrepreneur with your own early stage startup? A design creative or perhaps developing your own app. Maybe you are just tired of the isolation that the WFH ethic has engendered.If so, our coworking space would be a great solution to finding the perfect place to work or to conduct client meetings, away from the noise and distraction of a busy coffee shop or, at the opposite end, working long hours from home.
Our coworking space is a part of our gallery setup, and includes a private meeting room. Or you could also work outdoors in our lovely garden, a refreshing welcome from the confines of a closed office. Working in close proximity to an art filled space is sure to get the creative juices flowing!
We offer hourly, daily and weekly options, and WiFi is included.
Please call 9845753937 for enquiries.
We look forward to hearing from you.