Prageeth Manohansa’s work characteristically follows the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, anintuitive way of living that emphasizes finding beauty in imperfection, and accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay. The artist’s work is multidisciplinary and highlighted by his focus on figurative compositions made from scrap metal and found objects collected from sites and junkyards. Much like the junk art of Cesar and the assemblage of Picasso, the artist transforms the mundane into artistically and conceptually strong works incorporating movement and character as his signature. Over time as these objects are exposed to the environment they transform: the colour of the brass darkens and the iron bars rust; such is the allure of Prageeth Manohansa’s work.
In this new series Wanantharaya, the artist welds and moulds brass into shapes of leaves or wraps brass pieces around manipulated wires in the creation of the animals from his ‘jungle’ (wanantharaya). In his paintings, inspired by recent collaborations, Manohansa takes a microscopic view of form and works with acrylic on paper on minimal and unusual illustrations of fauna. Meditating on this subject the artist’s new works possess a contemplative and subtle quality; a narrative of the artists reclusive nature and his environs. The sculpture are daintier in form and material, smaller in size from his usual life-size welded iron works. Compositionally this series of paintings are linear and bolder to his figurative drawings. Contrary to the structured chaos he is often known for, Wanantharaya emanates Manohansa’s gentler view and persona.