Reminiscing Raza …..

“To me, Bindu is still Centre, a source of energy. It is the beginning and the end. One never knows how and when something you learnt in the past will return to renew you and give you new direction.”

S.H Raza

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Can you imagine making a child understand such profound thoughts about life?

Well the answer is Yes……

It is difficult to translate and explain what an artist like Raza has expressed through his works, but none the less writers Ritu Khoda and Vanita Pai have taken up this challenge in their book “Raza’s Bindu”.


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“Raza’s Bindu” takes children on a retrospective journey of one of India’s most treasured and revered artist S.H Raza. The book helps one understand and discover the inspirations and aspirations of Raza, through painterly and interactive illustrations.

This book is a perfect mix of an interactive workbook and a Picture book, which introduces the complex concepts of Panchatatva, Bindu, Colour theory in a comprehensive and engaging manner.

Raza’s Bindu will surely strike a cord with anyone who loves stories and loves to read.

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–  A Review by Gopa Trivedi


Bidding Farewell to S.H Raza

“I have never been a good student. When I was seven years old, my school teacher Nandaji Acharya made me wait after the school time, drew a dot on the black board and asked me to keep looking at it till he returned. He had realised that my mind was wandering and he wanted me to concentrate my energies and thoughts”

S.H Raza


Art 1st pays its tribute to the legendary painter S.H Raza , who passed away in New Delhi on Saturday after a prolonged illness, leaving a huge void in the artistic world.
He was a Modernist who, connected the contemporary art of independent India with that of the European ‘modernity’ as early as 1956.


May his soul rest in peace……..

When God First Made Animals, He Made Them All Alike

The story written and illustrated by K.G Subramanyan, is a story which simplifies the complicities of the world for children.

The story explains why when God made all the animals alike they look different? It explains very well why Abu looks like and is called a Tigre, and why did Ubu who was a crazy hippy choose to be an elephant.

It talks about the hidden wisdom that all the animals have to give us. Why they cant be what they were even if they want to be.


Find it out for yourself what was the mistake they made? And Why is it too late?…….



Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor

Our Friends the Ogres

Ogres are still alive and living amongst us!!!!!!!!!

Hard to believe????


Then just do not take my word for it, find it out for yourself, in this Marvelous, imaginative and Metaphoric story, written and illustrated by “K. G Subramanyan”


Once upon a time Ogres were people like us…… We all know Shrek,

Then where did they go????

Well they are with us, Belching smoke and Blackening the Skies, and we all love them.

Because they boost our economy and make us prosperous, even though they blacken our faces with their smoke, we want them.

We called the Staplers and got them stapled to the grounds as Factories…….

Find out how? When? And Who? Did this, in this book.

With Bold and monochromatic illustrations, this story skillfully critiques our modern day society and will make children yearn for a better future.


Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor


Partner a master Artist Mentor Program2016

Partner a Master: Artist-Mentor program is an initiative that explores the notions of Creativity as applied imagination for children in private and public schools. Conceived as an annual project by the Art1st Foundation in Mumbai Delhi and Bangalore, this entails introducing children to artist studios as spaces of imaginative learning, discovery and transformative thinking. Employing art as a pedagogical tool, this initiative emphasizes on visual literacy, collective learning and the role of the arts in cognitive processes and creative competencies. Contemporary artists and children work together on projects through workshops that open out processes of art-making through different mediums, methods and concepts. In such an interactive environment of learning, young children are able to understand that contemporary art is part of a cultural dialogue that concerns larger contextual frameworks such as personal and cultural identity, family, community, and nationality.

Each year we invite artists to mentor and engage with school kids in their studios. Young students between the age of 13 and 17, work alongside these artists on various art projects through the academic year. This immersive program, takes them through the world of contemporary art and the mentors help the students make their ideas visible.

The three pillars of this program are:

1. Artist Mentorship

2. Exhibition & seminar

3. Publication

Program Schedule

Each year we will invite a different set of artists and enrollments from other schools and NGOs; also students who participated in the preceding years are also encouraged to apply for this program. Students from NGOs will participate for free while others from private schools will enroll through registration fees.

Each artist dedicates 16-20 hours a month


4 sessions per artist, either on a Friday evening or Saturday morning. Duration: 4-6 hours per session



Avishek Sen

Avishek Sen’s art practice encompasses the disciplines of drawing, painting, collage and installation. His work, over the years, has traversed the realms of very personal experiences and intimate environs as well as some contemporary socio-political domains.

His recent series of paintings is rooted in deha tattva, i.e. the physical body and instincts as vehicles for discovering the inner-self. In this series I have conflated different animal forms into one body as a gestural depiction of the multiple identities that we embody but discover only in the spiritual practice of understanding the self by embracing the complexity of our desire instead of living in denial of its influence. All the hybrid, beastly, predatory forms in this series are engaged either in devouring or are eagerly anticipating the moment of feasting. Desire is either being fulfilled or is expecting to be, even though there seems to be no guarantee of immediate gratification.

Prior to this, his work focused on the interplay of religion and politics. I engaged with these issues and posited them in a metaphorical construct using an interspersion of references from his immediate environ, Indian history, myths, epics etc. Disparate visual elements culled from religious scriptures, traditional stories, old Calcutta woodcuts, political iconography, advertising images were placed in close proximity. The intent of these works is not to form overarching narratives, but to set up relationships between images and contexts, objects and issues and experience the power of the symbolic that lies beyond the visible imageries.

He is fascinated with watercolor as medium, owing to its lyrical effect and particularly because of the accidents that happen with this medium.


Puneet Kaushik

Born 1972 in New Delhi, Graduated in painting from the department of fine arts, Jamia

Milia Islamia University and did a Diploma in computer aided Graphic Design. He learnt

Studio art from the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco. Credited with

conducting courses in Mixed Media painting and assisting certificate level students in

studio art at California, he began his career as an Illustrator, and worked as a Product

Designer and ran a design store Alter Ego in New Delhi, and designed for Handicraft

and Handloom set ups in India besides developing furniture designs, for home and

office interiors. Now concentrating fully on his art work, he creates installations in a

range of materials such as fabric, thread, and beads to create his art. Puneet has also

worked in digital and video art and participated in several exhibitions and workshops in

the Indian metros besides Singapore, Bali, and Berkeley amongst others.



Sumedh Rajendran

Sumedh Rajendran’s work hints at the wider context of human experience while engaging with the possibilities of sculptural experimentation. His early series critically examined the predicament of displacement, angst, identities and arguments between different layers of existence. He juxtaposes the contradictions, contrarian values and social apathy with his skillful usage of materials like ceramic tiles and leather that have distinct connotations in both sacred and profane contexts. Rajendran also uses other industrial materials such as tin sheets, cans, rubber, cement concrete, steel etc while giving them an aesthetic value. An uneasy interface of his composite imagery, surfaces and structures generates meanings with their references to the space and time they evolved in, for example, grilles and glass windows, accentuated contours of animals, inward transformations of day today objects etc. The constant negotiations with circumstances and the situational contrasts keep recurring in his works and it makes him work with images that people can relate to. And yet he uses this as a starting point to investigate and deconstruct these circulated images to explore their hidden ideologies.

Mona Rai

The space of painting is often thought to be one of quiet contemplation, of refuge,

seclusion and withdrawal from the world. For Mona Rai it is exactly the opposite: it is a

space for experimentation and risk – taking, where danger can be courted and limits


For Mona painting is a space which allows things that are excluded from daily life to

happen with passion, rigor and even rage. Her looming, square works epitomize her

artistic attitude. Textures fascinate Rai; dots, dashes, slashes, directional strokes and

streaks create her particular style. Square canvases are seldom used in figurative or

narrative art, since dramatic distortions are hard to accommodate. The same format,

however, seems more feasible with regard to abstract art, where problems of proportion

and perspective do not arise.

The quality of tension and striving in Mona Rai’s canvasses is indeed intriguing. The

constant repetition of see what first appears to be randomness unified by the demands

of color, gives way to a feel of stillness, and tranquility. She has been quoted as saying:

“I need to feel the experience of actually hurling paint onto the canvas. I can see my

work opening itself up more and more.”

Her work also evokes deep meditativeness. Her work mostly relates to the cosmic

mystery of open space, light and time, that is intangible and cannot be easily ‘boxed or



Our program provides an opportunity for children to observe and interact
with a professional visual artist. It engages artists with children in dynamic arts education experiences. Designed to inspire creativity and build knowledge and skills in the arts, this hands on integrative approach to arts education illuminates the connections among people, ideas, and different cultures.


  • Create an in-depth experience between the artist, students, teachers and community.
  • Model integrating the arts into classroom curriculum
  • It is a two-part process, involving both the creation of art and the discovery ofits meaning.
  • The “analysis” of the artwork produced helps gain some level of insight into their work and lets them work through the issues in a constructive manner.
  • A key feature is that the participant, not the artist, directs the interpretation of the artwork.


    A book will be published which will document the children’s learning over a period of 4 months.

    It will address the following questions:

  •   What is the artist trying to say through the techniques and the symbols used?
  •   What is the relationship between the image and its historical context and its relevance in my present time?
  •   What are the visual and verbal relationships I can use to expand my understanding of art, knowledge and society?


Session Details

Age Group: Class 9-12
Fee: Rs.1500 per session. Rs.24,000 for 16 sessions (inclusive of all art material) plus service tax
Duration: August, 2016 to November 2016; Last two Fridays & Saturdays of each month.

Session timings: 4 to 6 hour per session Enrolment Details

Interested participants should enroll by paying the registered fee in favor of Artfirst Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.

Last date for registration: 10th August,2016

Contact: Gopa Trivedi Mob. : +91 7289884687 Email :



Rehaan Kaul
JamnabaiNarsee School, Mumbai

“Partner a Master program is a vessel which takes me on the journey of exploring the different parts of my mind. It has taught me to think out-of- the box and forced to me to apply my mind.”


Vasant Valley School, Delhi

“I will never forget that weird, seemingly happy moment of crushing our work of elephant grass with artist AsimWaqif into shreds- because after all, it does exist in my head- permanently. Asim made us realize that the only way to preserve the true beauty of a piece of art was in our memory”


Natasha Lopez
Convent of Jesus and Mary, Delhi

‘I realized that art is not just something that is aesthetically appealing, it is an expression of how we see the world.’



Partner a master2016 POSTER


“The king and the little man” written and illustrated by K.G Subramanyan, is a thought provoking piece of work, that gives a slight jolt to its readers, and compels them to reconnect with nature and simple living.


The story is set in an “old country, with mountains and mists, rivers and valleys, woodlands and orchards, birds and beasts, and people”. This little country also had a pompous king, who loved being adored by people. With all his glitter and gold he wanted to mesmerize them.

But then he had a competitor, not a king or a rich man, but a Little man with bright eyes keen mind and a sweet tongue. What was so unique about him?

“While most people talked about themselves, he talked about other things.”

Like the snows on the mountains, or the butter flies in the morning ……

What he talked came as a breath of fresh air to people …….. and they adored him.

One fine morning at the kings court, he spoke something, that made people ignore the king and look the other way……… this made the king sad, as he could not bear this insult, then he decided to get a queen who could advice him………………..

Thus came the Queen “ A queen is a woman only an over- dressed woman”

She knew the solution for the king’s fear as she had studied at the “ Havard Business Schoo”…………………. What she does changes the world on that island……….

Will the people forget the Little man?

Will they ever look at the mountains and clouds?

What does the Queen do, to make the people forget all this?

Find out in this enchanting tale of an island. Coupled with minimal illustrations this book is a must for all those who want to revisit and make their children experience the days of “Ek tha raja ek thi Rani” ………..



By: Gopa Trivedi

Artist Mentor



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Ek tha raja Ek thi Rani……………………