Within Four Walls

Within Four Walls is an ongoing series of print and drawing based works on paper. The germ of this collection was a Japanese Woodblock Print) created for "Living a Dark Night", a project conceptulazed by Paula Sengupta. It expanded into a series of new compositions using collage, pencil drawing and gold leaf. The first collection of 11 works was exhibited at an online show Within Four Walls, at Gallery Espace, New Delhi in 2021. The next collection became more absract, with added pencil drawing, and was exhibited by Gallery Espace at the inagural edition of the Mumbai Art Fair in 2023.

Within Four Walls Onice Exhibit at Gallery Espace
Exhibition Essay Excerpts:

What are the elements that transform a lived space into a life? How do the spaces that we interact with daily, acquire form outside their corporeal manifestation? What is the meaning of a home? Can we trace the tacit presences of identity in the wooden frame of a painting, or the incline of a much trodden stairway?
These are some of the questions that Nandini Bagla Chirimar asks through her detailed study of inhabited spaces in Within Four Walls. This series of 11 Japanese woodblock print collages are recomposed fragments of sparse, carefully delineated spaces within the interiors of a household.

"I am interested in physical spaces created by architecture, and also the “unwritten spaces”, which exist along with concrete floor plans and objects. These could be in the form of abstract configurations of the walls, historical remnants, or undefined spaces created by emotions within the walls. As an example, when we live within the same walls month after month, we start to look at them differently. Sometimes the walls seem to close in, and at other times, create an almost sacred space which holds our dreams."
In the works featured here, the artist breaks down and remakes the original print, cutting and pasting, adding layers, translating movements of fantasy and imagination into surreal visions. It is this movement from certainty to uncertainty that creates a gap for the speculative connections a viewer can make.

While the converging walls invite the viewer to be inside them, they also suggest a breakdown of that space, and a reconfiguration of its contours. There are no people in these mise-en-scenes, but the residues of identity wash up against the surfaces, the way shadow suggests an imminent presence. As we see the disintegrated fragments of these rooms, through intersecting cross sections, they stand in for the presences that inhabit them.

Text by Aranya