The Garden Underground exhibition – by Violet Neumann (yr 1 BA Photography)
13th April 2016
We stayed in an area of Delhi called Jor Bagh for the first week of our trip. The part we were in was a very long road with a few hotels and lots of lovely houses many of which had well maintained front gardens and guards at the entrance. We grew very fond of the area, a street behind our accommodation was a large public garden with 15th century architecture including tombs and mosques. At the end of Jor Bagh road was the metro station which we found ourselves using almost daily – this is where Tony’s work was to be exhibited. While we were using the metro regularly we were able to see the huge volume of people that pass through the station every day.
Myself and Matt Gardner documented the exhibition being put up. We watched as the men stripped the previous work from the frame and fixed the haphazard light bulbs that illuminate the stretched canvas images. There was around a team of 6 people handling the operation, they each performed their roles well and did a good job. Each enormous roll of coated canvas had to be unrolled and stretched across the metal frame that had just been cleaned from the previous exhibition that had been taken down. They adjusted each corner to the correct tension and then stuck it down and held it until they could be sure it wouldn’t move. They they cut the edges into 4 to 5 flaps and pulled each one down onto the frame many times until the tension across the whole frame was perfect, only then would they cut each flap off to neaten the edges and voila, the framing was complete.
To see a short video of the installation by Matt Gardner – go to https://vimeo.com/163391202
Tony Clancy’s work is being exhibited along side the work of Arati-Kumar Rao and Juhi Sakani. Together their contributions create a beautiful and diverse experience offering contrasting photographs and intentions as their projects create the final piece; it is great to see them all come together as each aspect of the show has come from widely different environments, perspectives and aims.
Tony’s main piece is a large collage of many square format macro images of parts of plants and animals that are part of their life cycle. It includes many plants that are native to our English gardens as well as intruders that we have grown to accept and love in amongst our other dear plants. The collage is beautifully vibrant which rich natural colours and exquisite detail in each image. He took each image using torches to individually highlight particular areas of the plant or flower and accentuate certain textures and aesthetics that brought out the true elegance of the natural structure.
This exhibition brightened up the metro station and added a lovely sense of the natural world to a largely concrete and man-made building. The intense colours and diversity in work made the station much more interesting and less imposing as you walked through while going about your day. Within minutes of the work being put up people were already stopping to look more closely, they were intrigued by the art that was presented to them and I personally felt that it was a very refreshing and invigorating exhibition that will grab your attention and persuade you to appreciate the beauty of nature.