Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jul 07, 2003

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Chennai Published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Art made accessible

An art gallery, cultural resource centre, a café and a line of designer jewellery... these are part of Ashvin Rajagopalan's dream to present art in a more interesting format.


"ART DEFINES a culture and culture defines the civilisation, the people. From being one of the greatest civilisations, we in India have come to a point where there is little understanding or appreciation of art, little awareness of aesthetics, stagnation in creativity of art and movies, and too few cultural events. Television seems to have taken over while other forms of culture and entertainment seem to have almost disappeared. In Chennai, small attempts are made to revive theatre and once a year we have the music/dance season but very little else. This is my attempt to bring in a little more interest into culture and aesthetics." The effort spoken of is no small one, comprising an art gallery and cultural resource centre, a café and a line of designer jewellery.

Having graduated in jewellery design from the Pratt Institute, New York, Ashvin Rajagopalan began an art gallery hoping to expand into jewellery later. His is an endeavour to bring about greater awareness of art in Chennai - to make art accessible, yet `cool'. Ashvita, the gallery, began eight months ago displaying quality art and art objects, but is now part of a much larger identity. As an art promoter and artist, he sees the need to make art interesting to a largely unfamiliar audience.

"When we have the annual dance and music festival, we have an audience, but when there are other art and culture related events the audience is non-existent. Prestigious events happen every once in a while at exclusive venues, but there is no sustained movement, it fizzles out." Ashvin sees the need to amalgamate various areas of similar interest at one site, to reach a more comprehensive ambit rather than just the artists, art critics, art lovers and collectors. Aiming to cater for the palate of an art-loving patron while also serving aesthetics to a famished clientele, he hopes that the Café Ashvita set in a beautiful quiet garden environment, the gallery Ashvita Art Objects and Artefacts and Ashvita Contemporary, the jewellery section, will work symbiotically, supporting one another.

Ashvita Contemporary has launched `The Starlight Collection', a range of jewellery created by Ashvin, which combines traditional motifs with contemporary usage and is crafted using coloured glass and silver.

The gallery has started the Ashvita Art and Culture Foundation, a non-profit organisation, which generates funds for art and culture related programmes in Chennai. "A major percentage of artists, although trained in art practice, is unaware of art history, knowing little about the background of art and the evolutions of the movements, the current trends. Chennai is lacking in easily accessible resources in terms of museums and libraries focussing on art and culture."

Organising film screenings, lectures, workshops and presentations by resource persons from all aspects of art and culture, the foundation will serve as a resource centre. In June, the events included have been so varied as to incorporate portfolio presentations by artists, poetry readings, a documentary on environmental damage, a talk on Art and the Vedas, a photography workshop and a presentation on Travels in Tribal Lands, among others.

Contemplating on making a difference and changing the perception of art in Chennai, Ashvin has reinvented and repackaged what already exists with a healthy serving of professionalism, generating a remarkably synergistic effect.

Ashvita is located at 11, Second Street, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, ph: 28476063.

SWAPNA SATHISH

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright © 2003, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu