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With S S Rajputana, Dodiya marks Gandhi's departure for Britain to attend the Round Table Conference in 1931 - over the ghostly image of the ship, which appears to float on the surface of the sea, and the people gathered on the shore to see it off, the artist superimposes his recurrent image of the divers, hinting at the epic desire to defy gravity and attain the thrilling if temporary grace of flight.
Dodiya makes no attempt to mask the ghostliness of these events, as though he had witnessed them by the light of a distant star; indeed, he accentuates it with his subtle use of grey and yellow-brown tonalities. Far from weakening their impact, however, the spectrality of these figures imparts to them a compelling luminosity a painting based on a photograph acquires metaphorical resonances unsuspected by the man behind the original lens, and the contingencies of the event are re-organised into a potent testimony.
(Ranjit Hoskote, "Re-imagining Bapu", An Artist of Non-violence, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, pg.26-28)
About Atul Dodiya - Limited edition offset printsThe collection "Re-Imagining Bapu" includes limited edition prints of paintings from Atul Dodiya’s solo show, “An Artist of Non-violence”, held at Gallery Chemould in 1999. Among the artists and figures who fuelled his artistic creations, Mahatma Gandhi featured in a large body of works. His fascination with Gandhi resulted in a series of works featuring Bapu from the 1980s onwards. As art critic Ranjit Hoskote puts it, Gandhi does not appear in Dodiya’s works as a person in a familiar setting, but as a force to be reckoned with. They showcase Atul’s versatility as an artist, and a “spectrum of moods through which Bapu passed...as a peaceful revolutionary.” (Gallery Chemould exhibition catalogue, 1999)