Art camp at Kolkata!October 4th, 2008 - 12:09 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Oct 4 (IANS) Indian art is being enriched with a free flow of ideas and concepts between creative people at exchange forums like art camps, which are gradually breaching the divide between the old and new order of artists. Art camps and live workshop-cum-interactions, where not only do artists execute new works of art but also cull influences from each other, help spawn new artistic concepts.
At Gen Next III, an art camp hosted by the Aakriti Gallery and Emami Chisel Arts in Kolkata Oct 2-3, 40 artists, including three foreigners, splashed colours on new canvases, spinning a million dollar business-cum-creative endeavour.
The artists included 31 young contemporary artists, fresh out of art institutes, and nine senior contemporary artists.
The camp held in the sprawling campus of the Emami Chisel Auction House on the fringe of Kolkata saw more than 45 new art works at the end of two-day artistic initiative.
“Art camps are very important platforms for young artists. They connect junior artists like us to senior ones and to art lovers and industry stake-holders. This is the only way we can see new works by senior artists and pick up influences,” K. Prasoon Roy, a graduate from Santiniketan (Visva-Bharati University), told IANS.
Roy has displayed solo at the Jahangir Art Gallery in Mumbai this year.
The works at the camp were a medley of influences, with younger artists like Nantu Bihari Das, Chandan Bhandari, Hem Raj, and Korou K.H. drawing subtle artistic inspirations from their senior counterparts like Sekhar Roy, Partha Pratim Deb, Manish Pushkale, Amitabha Dhar, Sunil Dey, Tapas Konar and Chhatrapati Dutt.
However, the younger lot held their own, innovating on set contemporary art formats. For instance, Roy used rubber emulsion on his canvas to treat the surface and to highlight some smaller motifs with a three-dimensional look.
Italian artist Serena Scapagnini used bits of sepia photographs depicting scenes from the Renaissance era in Europe with acrylic paints to create a theme collage in mixed media.
The canvases evolved by the hour. At 11 a.m., while Gen Next III organisers spread out the plastic sheets on the floor as shield against colour stains, laid out the tables, propped up the easels and canvases, the artists were busy conceptualising their themes on sheets of paper.
A handful of them had brought along computer prints of the themes. An hour later, the first trickle colours flowed on the canvas, mostly in the form of textured or innovative backgrounds either in monochrome shades, textures, muted pastel waves, and in combination hues like red and gold.
Two hours of drying later, the first pencil, pen and brushstrokes gave the early hint of the shapes to come.
By evening, the canvases were ready and breathed life like newborns, which bore virtually no resemblance to the specs, dots and flat brush-strokes on the canvases of the morning. The styles blurred and colours overlapped - only the themes were different.
At the end of the camp, almost all the canvases were ready, waiting to be put on the shelves for sale. The art works will be auctioned by Emami Chisel Arts in November.
However, many veterans did not sound too enthusiastic about art camps.
“Art camps are more like carnivals. Everyone works in their own compartment, but one has to acknowledge the element of collective exchange that takes place. It is definitely important for artists who want to be part of the set. The promotional aspect plays a role in art camps because an artist has to survive,” senior artist Sunil Dey said.
However, young artist Korou K.H. of Manipur - who drew an escapist fish luring a group of people from an open window, reminiscent of the slippery Piscean Nemo in the movie “Finding Nemo” - felt art camps provide great exposure.
“This is a great way to exchange and silently hear the seniors out and pick up from their work. Art camps are giving Indian artists great exposure across the world,” he said.
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