Light streams across Tanujaa Rane’s work. From the etched lines behind the Moth and the Monarch butterfly in Transfiguration/Metamorphosis, rays extend into the flight paths of one hundred Cicadas and to the Damsel Fly Long, which gravitates towards the recognisable abstract phases of an illuminated moon. Animals, a recurring motif in Rane’s early works, act as metaphors and reflections of life. Carrying forward into Rane’s current exhibition, we observe an emerging lightness as the creatures move from land to air to mythical realms. The artist deconstructs familiar forms to compel viewers’ awareness of how they see. The back-and-forth movement, while trying to piece together a jigsaw, draws attention to the infinite abstract and complex details of insect bodies and wings through an unusual painterly precision and mastery over the mediums of etching and colour intaglio.
Twenty-One Days, a series of twenty-one prints, signifies an important time frame or number for Rane. Acting as a transitory prism for the exhibition, this work seeds from the artist’s ongoing journey with Reiki, healing and meditation, while also celebrating the struggle of thought processes, attachment and detachment. She identifies this number, twenty-one, as her never-ending cycle for change and experience. The spinal cord that centres this work also extends as a metaphor for a base that bonds and breaks light, systems, pain, form, the body and abstraction. Recognising the comfort in creative discomfort, it is also after a period of twenty-one years of printmaking that Rane has introduced sculpture and cyanotypes into her practice.
Mystical Unicorn Connections is the artist’s interpretation of antennas that emerge from every manmade surface she encountered during the pandemic, including TV towers as well as cranes and scaffoldings on construction sites. A collection of conical wall and floor lacquered-fibreglass sculptures stand in clusters to represent human connections while also suggesting the acceptance of a loss (of control) as magical. The defining blue and white lines of the unicorn horns spiral into experiments with light on a wall of cyanotypes, where the unknown becomes an accepted outcome, and the exit becomes the opening for the presence and dispersal of light.
- Veeranganakumari Solanki