Artist Tahire Lal explores light 'physically and philosophically' in latest work

Lal's 'Phototroupe' is currently on display at Chitrakala Parishad, Bengaluru

tahire-lal Tahire Lal and one of her works

Tahire Lal’s collection of installations and wall works ‘Phototroupe’ is layered with meanings. Lal explores light “physically and philosophically”. She considers humans as beings of light in a world surrounded by darkness and raises pertinent questions about human agency and interdependence from a feminist point of view.

In an interview with THE WEEK, Lal talks about how living in a countryside made her fall in love with nature.

Phototroupe is currently on display at Chitrakala Parishad, Bengaluru.

Excerpts from the interview:

You moved to Assam eight years ago. How has living in the countryside impacted you as an artist?

Living in the countryside has given me more of an appreciation for our position in the world and the ways in which we are sustained by the earth. These ideas tie into posthuman and feminist philosophies explored with and through the work.

Tell us about Phototrope and your tryst with light.

Phototrope is the coming together of different strains of thought and experience pertaining to human life. Drawing from observations of light in natural and built environments, this body of work thinks of our affinities, humans as beings of light in a universe held by darkness. I explore light physically and philosophically.

You have used a lot of different materials in your installations. Are there materials you have gathered from around your own neighbourhood? Do you enjoy sourcing and gathering materials?

The inspiration for the use of materials is drawn from my immediate environment. Initial experiments are usually done with whatever I can get my hands on. Ultimately to generate artwork that takes on a more formal quality of expression, I source materials both locally and industrially. I enjoy the processes of thinking through material abstractions and their philosophical implications.

What does art mean to you?

To me art is an extrusion that stems from engaging with ideas and the world.

Which is your personal favourite in this collection?

I am going to go on a slight tangent here. It is not one work per se, but when I think of how the installation of the works in galleries 1 and 2 of Chitrakala Parishath has come together, that’s my favourite part. The works relate to each other and their configuration in space helps to underscore this. It took the care and expertise of different groups of people to craft each piece on display and I like them all.

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