Saturday, 7 February 2015

A collaborative endeavour - SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda

From left to right- Piyush Maheshwari, myself, Manish Maheshwari & Surendran Nair
at SITE art space Baroda

In June 2014 I conceived of a collaboration with Manish and Piyush Maheshwari, two brothers who run Rachaita Creative Solutions, to curate present five exhibitions to the city of Baroda.

SITE art space and The Collective Studio Baroda both share a vision for art that focuses upon community and interaction as seminal features that we wished to engage with, as well as to also highlight alternative spaces of exhibiting and discourse as valuable and critical to sustaining an energised and ever evolving art context. Our desire was for the programs to generate excitement and participation which would allow for this idea of cultural engagement to be a rewarding experience for the city of Baroda.

SITE art space is situated at GIDC Makarpura within the heart of the industrial production zone. The exhibition space designed by Mumbai based architect Samira Rathod is beautiful, and lends itself to interventional transformations. Having the gallery space along side the fabricating unit, a display space of art products designed and executed by artists, a library, a residency program unit and a pop up cafĂ© space, all within a primarily industrial location reaffirms the emphasis of reinstating alternative art spaces as a continued tradition that is a valued part of art history. The underlying thrust was for the community of artists and the audience to be more intimately engaged with discourse and interaction.

The Collective Studio Baroda was set up in the traditions of the guru shishya practice where students and young artists live and work together with Surendran and myself who host this initiative. It is a space of learning that does not charge any fee nor accepts any payback via works of art in exchange either. Founded on the principle of trust and belief to the commitment and passion to study art from the comprehension of it being a holistic world of imbibing knowledge and experience and where the rigours of long hours of studio practise are mandatory, the selection is through invitation only. Teaching, residencies, lecture programs, curatorial projects and fund raising are amongst some of the major activities that The Collective Studio focuses on. 

The rigour of this intensive curatorial and art management program has been personally exhilarating. Working pro bono and with a minimum budget that was self generated by the three of us, it has been extremely rewarding when  exhibitions  have  drawn in  audience numbers  touching 500 on an opening day. The artists and the citizens of Baroda have been very hugely participatory and for that , as a team, we feel great gratitude.

We began our season with a talk on conservation by architect Sanjeev Joshi.

In October  2014 we presented Residual Remnants

In November 2014 we presented Subtextual Documentalists

In December 2014 we presented This Side of the Forest 

In January 2015 we presented Measured Metres

Ankush Safaya was our artist in residence from 8th December 2014 to 10th January 2015

Today we present Six Generations: Notional Worlds

We present author Sanjay Kumar in conversation with Sadanand Menon on his new book Virgin Gingerly on the 21st of February 2015.

Watch this space for more visuals that will share each event in more detail regarding the work and displays.

So to all my readers who have been disappointed that I have been inactive on my blog, it has been this venture that has been the reason! 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rekha, Hello! As I read the write ups I was reminded of the one that you wrote for us ,me, Manisha and Napha. It was for our very first group exhibition that you had curated. You not only curated it but went out of your way to meticulously do all that goes into organising a good show. It was a great learning experience that we gained through your initiative. It also brings to my mind the fond memories of the time we spent with you and Komu. I still have the card that Komu gave us wishing us luck for the very first show of the 'unheard of artists'.I shall always cherish it. Warm regards! Ina