I was in Bangalore recently and was really delighted to visit 1Shantiroad. For those who do not know what I am talking about, this is a collective space that has evolved under the directorship of Suresh Jayaram, who runs art residency programs that invite all types of articulations to be explored. Suresh himself lives there and embraces the needs of each of the artists in ways that are not typical, and the result is this marvelous "home" which in my opinion is what a studio is for every artist.
Food and belief : two absolute soul requirements are in abundance at this magical place whose architecture twists and turns and tucks away, with the ease of a conjurers map; and gives you the illusion that despite the full house there is always room for many more to be accommodated. Nothing is segregated in this space and though you have your private locations to live and work, the undertone of the space is a community that celebrates the spirit of sharing and engaging with no holds barred.
I just LOVED it! I felt rejuvenated to witness the continuation of a legacy special to art in India where we devises means by which we choose to be a community who can depend upon one another. At a time where the political governance is abdicating its responsibility by choosing not to rectifying the mistakes related to how we are treating M.F Husain like a common criminal, being at 1Shantiroad was like finding a light when you least expect it.
Where this place succeeds is that it engages with activities of art that are serious, and where funding is recognised as vital to the realisation of each project. It also provides the platform of discourse within the frameworks of informal settings, that ties up and connects energies between people in extremely effective and productive manners.
Suresh Jayaram is an accomplished writer and an artist, and his wisdom lies in his genuine ability to remain curious of life, and to believe that he plays a role of significance through his engagement with others. That one person alone can generate so much stimulus to a community, and without any fanfare and chest thumping, is truly spectacular. You are my hero, dear friend!