Art1st at IADEA’s Art Educators Conference

 

The Art1st Team ended their work-week at IADEA’s super-fun two-day Art and Design Educators Conference. Perhaps, one of the first of it’s kind, the Conference saw Art Educators from schools across India, as well as several Art Education enthusiasts. The programme included talks by several prominent faces in the field, including, Deborah Thiagarajan of DakshinaChitra and Himanshu from the Dharavi Art Room, and Art Educators who are Artists too, like Harry Hancock, Dr. Manjiri Thakoor and Nilanjana Nandi.

Our very own Vanita Pai led the room down a walk through the history of Modern Art in India. Originally part of the award-winning publication ‘Eye Spy Indian Art‘, this designer art game contain fragments of history in the form of famous artworks, headlines and dates. The participants are given a chance to contemplate these historical fragments before they are asked to put together their own version of a timeline.

Hosted in the beautiful Piramal Museum of Art, each table was deemed a group, and with the roles reversed, the erstwhile teachers had a chance to be students again. The room was engulfed in noise, activity and colour! We watched as individuals who’d never met before, came together to agree upon one plan of action. Some focused on the division between political, cultural and art histories while others juxtaposed these timelines and created patterns that broke from linearity. The session ended with very exciting picture taking.

The Conference was beautifully organized and the schedule ran on an impeccable timing (Thank you Sara Vetteh!) Each table was provided with brand-new art supplies, and each lecturer made sure to pepper their talks with activities. This kept everyone in the room involved in the proceedings. As the first of its kind, the conference was a great start and we hope to see many more participants as well as involved speakers with each passing year.

 

Likla
Writer at Art1st
#bestWorkdayEver #ArtThroughTheDay

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Artist Mentor Avishek Sen..

On a chilly 13th January 2017 evening , our session began with Artist Mentor Abishek 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.

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

Avishek was half an hour early for the season, and prepared the table for our participants. One could easly percieve his sincere approach towards his practice.

When all the participants came in we began the session with an introductory video on our Mentor. Post which there was an interactive session with our Mentor, where he talked about his practice and his experience with water colours as a medium.

He gave them all a piece of paper and took one for himself and every one bean painting in pin drop silence. Participants kept observing while Abishek was painting and adapting his techniques simultaneously. It was the first time when any mentor painted along with the participants.

No one was allowed to use an image as a reference point, they were to exercise their imagination and go with the flow.

Students were surprised with the outcome of there own works.

As the clock struck 7 it was time to wrap up. Our Mentor had painted something, which would be completed by the students i the upcoming sessions.

Artist Mentor: Mona Rai, Day 4

The last and final session with Mona Rai began at 3 pm on 27th November.

All the participants reached on time and continued their work, which they were doing in the previous session.

 

Our mentor kept a close eye on each one of them, and the moment a few said they were done!!!! Mona asked them to work over again and try to deform the image.

On sensing a subtle reluctance, in doing so, by the participants, our Mentor indulged the participants in a discussion on, having the urge to work on issues.

A thought-provoking discussion that  began with addressing the major difference between an advertising poster and a painting. The discussion continued for nearly half an hour, that left the participants thinking.

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We are sure that the participants and the Mentor Mona Rai enjoyed the experience…..

 

 

 

November 2016,Day 2

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All of us look outside our windows, but how many of us observe?????

Do we feel the changes in light with the seasons?

Do we observe the changing textures of the trees and the land?

Most of us click a picture to savour the moment, hoping to enjoy it later, rather than pausing for a moment and observing it then and there……..

Our mentor Mona felt that the children need to learn how to observe more keenly, through   their eyes rather than their smart phones, they need to learn to pause and grasp things.

On November 13th by 2:30 when all the participants had come in the, they were just asked to stand in the studio Balcony and observe the landscape….. the texture of the trees, the colours, the ground etc.

 

Our Mentor Mona stood with them and hinted at the ways they could look at the different textures and colours. After that they were left to their own, to sketch.

Mona asked them to use only three colours in their work, and they were also allowed to use several spices for colours and textures.

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The work that they were to do on 13th was meant to be a preparatory sketch ….

All of them quickly began their work….

 

Unlike the other days one could see a disinterest in their works. Only after much coaxing did they divulge that they did not like working on landscapes much , this revelation lead to many more discussions about their interests and reading habits.

At the end our mentor suggested names of artist that each one of them had to look up and come, for the next session.

Looking forward to see, what challenges our Mentor has for them , in the next session…..

Partner a Master: Mona Rai… Day 1

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 exceeded.

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 Mona Rai; dots, dashes, slashes, directional strokes and streaks create her particular style.

Mona fearlessly uses a verity of textures, materials and techniques in her works, and this is what she wants the children to explore through this workshop.

The first session of Partner a Master with Artist Mentor : Mona Rai began on 12th November at 2:30 pm.

The session commenced with an introduction to Mona and her works, the Participants were shown a short video produced by “Art1st” on the artist. The screening of the video was followed by few discussions and questions on Mona’s practice.

 

Our mentor also asked the participants about the curriculum they follow in their schools, and then asked them to choose various materials like: Bindi, Buttons, Canvas, Cloth etc. and make anything of their choice.

This exercise was meant to get a better understanding of the participants.

All the students were quick at making their material choices, and began working on their works immediately as they were to finish their works within 2 hours…..

The influence of the previous workshops was evident in their works….

They quickly began drawing….. but were taken aback as our Mentor strictly prohibited the use of pencils and pens!!!!!!!!!

Mona wanted them to engage with the materials directly and fearlessly……

While a few worked with the on going issue of Smog, most of them made faces and eyes and had a concept behind the works……

They were asked to stop as soon as the time limit was over, one could see them hurry and put some last minute strokes, seconds before the discussion…..

During the discussion Mona left them with a question…..

Why should there always be a concept behind their work?

Can they not do a work only for the sheer joy of exploration and creation?

Well that was a lot of food for thought for one day!!!!!!!!

 

 

23rd October, Day 2…

The Golden Mean: The state of In-Between

 

In Ancient Greek Philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the Golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.

For example, in the Aristotelian view, Courage is a virtue, but if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness, and, in deficiency, cowardice.

Gautam Buddha taught of the middle way, a path between the extremes of religious asceticism and worldly self-indulgence.

Confucious taught excess is similar to deficiency. A way of living in the mean is the way of life.

Our Histories and cultures have always talked about the state of in-between, and this is what the students explored though their art works, while working with our Mentor Sumedh Rajendran.

The second day of our workshop began at 10:30 am on 23rd October 2016. Everyone quickly resumed their works that they had started in the previous session.

 

The participants were required to cut and paste their works on three sheets of corrugated paper, in order to make the drawings free-standing.

Cutting and pasting sounded a bit too easy than it actually was. Our Mentor was constantly guiding them through all the technical hurdles.

By 4 pm everyone was ready with their works, and now it was time for installation. Two pillars were prepared on which works were to be nailed. Some of the works were free standing.

 

By 5pm, the perfect balance was struck by each one of them, it was evident in their works.

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Sumedh Rajendran/October 2016. Day 1.

Partner a Master session with Artist Mentor: Sumedh Rajendran began on 14th October 2016. It was a Seven hour long session…………

The Session was scheduled at Sumedh Rajendran’s Sculpture studio in Greater Noida. All the participants pooled and reached the studio at 10:30 am. The studio was unlike the one they would have imagined.

Studio based in the industrial area of Greater Noida was a Bicycle factory, which later became the studio of the Sculptor Sumedh Rajendran. Amidst the tall trees and the faint industrial sounds in the backdrop, the studio stands tall with its high walls and a gabled roof top.

Students were welcomed by our Mentor. The studio seemed like a factory to the students at first, as it was a huge hall with sculptures all around the space. Sumedh arranged some chairs for the participants outside in the open.

Our mentor began with asking the participants,

What is Art for them?

What they understand by the term “Being creative”?

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After a 20 minute discussion, while talking about his own works Sumedh Asked them to, draw something taking inspiration form their surroundings.

They were to take under consideration the extremes that they have experienced and how as individuals they adapt to those extremes. They were asked to express the state of being in the “In-Between” of two extremes.

It took the participants a little while to grasp what he meant………

After much discussions and speculations each one of them came up with a visual and discussed with our mentor.

After their ideas were in place, huge corrugated sheets were spread out for them to draw on.

Our mentor wanted them to draw freely with no inhibitions, use of digital images as reference was not allowed, as they had to use their imagination and experiences.

Students worked with utmost freedom, and confidence.

 

After seven hour long sessions of thought provoking discussions, making life size drawings, soothing music and some snacks…… the day was called quits at 5pm.

We meet next Sunday for another sessoin to continue exploring the

spaces……In-Between……….. two extremes.

 

By

Gopa Trivedi/Artist Mentor

“Kaljai Kambakhat” Launch….

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On the eve of 17th September 2016, Art1st organized a one of a kind, Book Launch of “Kaljai Kambakhat” Published by Art1st Publication and written by Amit Dutta who is considered by eminent critics as one of the most significant practitioners of experimental cinema working currently, has written his first novel in Hindi. The novel is in continuum with his filmmaking practice, reflecting his experimentation with language, narration and the subconscious, drawing richly and indirectly from his own boyhood milieu.

 

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Kaljayi Kambakht (The Time-Conqueror Wretch)

 

Is a story about a boy named Sham who is a precocious school boy he dreams about making sense of the world he inhabits. Shaman, his friend and alter-ego prods him along. They walk together exploring the gullies and outskirts of their suburban hill village. They passionately glean whatever information is available to them through books or people. They make patterns out of this information and scheme to gain control over their reality. The villagers become characters in their scheme and start revealing the cracks in their reality. As fragments of science, philosophy, fairy-tales, folk-legends and history start seeping into their everyday existence, Sham and Shan find themselves deep in an unmanageable world of their own fantasies.

 

The launch was graced with the presence of the author Amit Dutta , Udayan Vajpeyi a hindi poet, essayist, short fiction and script writer, and Kumar Sahani who is a noted Indian film director and screenwriter.

Ritu Khoda (founder of Art1st) welcomed the audience with an introduction, to the eminent panelist, and the screening of Amit Dutta’s Movie “Kramasha” which is based on the novel.

After the screening the book was unveiled, followed by a discussion with the panelist. The eminent poet Udyan Vajpeyi gave a detailed account of his experiences while reading the novel. Sighting quotes from the novel he emphasized how Kaljai Kambakhat is a “ Multiple novel”, as it does not have the unity of a novel, instead has the possibility of unity. Which according to him is the beauty of it, as it is loosely knit and is lucid like a musical composition.

Such interpretations led to many interesting anecdotes by Amit Dutta, where he spoke of instances that touched him, and how the novel is an outcome of his collective experiences both conscious and sub conscious.

Our third panelist Kumar Shahani was pleased, because he felt that the novel has an underlying poetry, and for him, that is what made it unique, as it gives the reader the independence to exercise their imagination.

 

The evening ended with book lovers taking their signed copies home….

 

 

Even Red can be sad……

Even Red can be Sad saw a successful screening, graced with the presence of  the Veteran artist Krishen Khanna, Director Amit Dutta and several other art enthusiasts, at the Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi.

The screening began with an address by  Krishen Khanna , who infused the evening with nostalgia through his recollections of the artist Ram Kuma, while it ended with an interaction with the Director Amit Dutta, and his understanding of Ramkumar and his works.

We thank the entire team of Vadehra for making this a success!