As India faces lockdown, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the art fraternity is finding new ways to make its presence felt internationally.
Bhopal-based artist Hemant Rao and Anil Gaykwad has just painted their canvas for a ‘virtual’ art camp. Hina Bhatt Art Ventures, a cultural organisation based in Pune, has held Akshaya, a online art camp, on between May 10 to 17.
Various established artists from across India and also from countries like Italy, Australia, Sweden and Nepal have been invited for the art camp. The participating artists are encouraged to produce their paintings, and receive honorarium, while sharing their day-to-day progress, exchange their views and ideas,
much like in any other art residencies and events, with only one exception, that in this case, the activities are carried out online, which will then go live on Akshaya’s social media account. “Art thrives on relationships.
Being part of Akshaya online international art camp, I felt that the sense of community is very much alive, even when we are confined to our houses round the clock,” says Hemant, who won National Academy Award from Lalit Kala in 2019.
Hemant works in dry pastel depicting softness and luminescence of nature’s different elements. He is known for his unique use of the dry pigments to create abstract forms, transparent layers and a soothing sense of space. He adds, “My faith is laid bare in my painting. Take a journey through these colours and shapes and you will realise that we cannot let today’s panic and crisis cast a shadow on our future hopes. Optimism is more powerful than any temporary obstacles.”
He has previously participated in Busan International Art Fair, Seoul Art Festival, Art Revolution Taipei, Bangkok Triennale, and recently, India Art Fair in 2020 among other solo or group shows.
In a time when many galleries and museums are being forced to close their doors, new initiatives such as that of Hina Bhatt Art Ventures, signals a welcoming change that may enhance work of artists and their connection to community in the long run.