A `convergence' of the plastic and performing arts is gaining ground in the twin cities
Artist Charan Sharma paints to the rhythms of tabla player Tanmai Bose
THE ART aficionados (particularly the lovers of painting) in the twin cities are being treated to a different experience these days. At least on some occasions when they see a rendezvous of art and music or dance and poetry. It's trendy to combine these different forms. Art is also going haute with fashion entering its ambit. This trend of envisaging and visualising the plastic and performing arts in a holistic manner is catching up in the art galleries in town. The `marriage' of such art forms is not new. This is an on-going practice in the metros where even theatre and ikebana see meeting points with art. Art and poetry seem to have a common link and artists at times are poets too. The bistros in France in the 20th century were frequented by painters and writers and were places of dialogue and discussion. The collaboration between writers and artists is not new and often an artist takes up writing in a serious way too. At times writing is integral to artists - particularly an artist like M.F. Husain.
In a way, the gallery owners are motivated to organise such events to promote art and culture and more importantly spread art awareness, which is still in the nascent stage. Such events also unconsciously form platforms for education and entertainment at the same time, which is serious too.
Prˆt a palette - a `fusion' of art and fashion
Daira Centre for Art and Culture was perhaps to `pioneer' this trend. "Daira is rooted in the concept of bringing the different arts together," says Atiya Amjad, the owner, who is striving towards this by taking up a popular art like music, or even fashion, poetry and book reading and blending it with painting. Some of Daira's events include Prêt a Palette (where Prerna Sanghi, a fashion designer and Pramod, a painter, came together with their creations), Shakti (held on Vijayadasami day where classical Bharatanatyam was performed against paintings on the concept of Shakti) and Tasveer ki awaaz (a multi-media presentation of art and poetry - where Iqbal Patni read his lines while the paintings chosen by him were unravelled on the screen). "I find that art and music converge somewhere. Artists, be it painters or musicians, have the same feelings and they express it in different ways through colours or notes. Such interactions are interesting," says Prshant Lahoti, owner Kalakriti Art Gallery, who had a live interaction of art and music - Trinity of Guitars where artists (Alok Bhattacharya, Charan Sharma and Sisir Sahana) painted to the rhythms and melody of instrumental and percussion music (Pandit Brijbhushan Kabra and Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya who played the guitar were accompanied by Pandit Tanmai Bose on the tabla).
Remani Nambiar, owner of Shrishti Art Gallery, concurs by saying, "art and music are correlated and a sense of good feeling envelops when these two coalesce. Also, such shows attract more people (the audience turnover is invariably more at such events)." As part of a terracotta workshop we had a book reading by the Little Theatre on earth," says Remani. A violin recital by a painter Vidya Dangle and a ghazal concert by Neerja Giri as part of an exhibition of miniature paintings formed part of Shrishti's range.
"Often a painting does not hold much attention but if it is combined with poetry or something else people look at it," adds Atiya. Iqbal Patni who writes poetry blends it with art as he feels "it is a way of giving a voice to a painting. I pick and choose works, which go with the poetry. Moreover through my audio-visual presentation people see the sections of a painting as it then merges into a whole. This way the attention of the person is captured. People can co-relate and respond. Otherwise one normally just strolls through the art galleries and browses."
Most such events are organised on the inaugural day or the concluding day of art exhibitions or workshops. Ideally there should be a synchronisation of the art forms and not a forced convergence. Finally it's all about confluence of the art forms - which is intrinsic to Indian culture. "It is all about communicating in a certain language through different means," says Atiya. Creating awareness is crucial and the possibilities in doing so are immense. Therefore, there is a need to promote every art form in order to win the appreciation of the people. The scenario is such that a melange of experimentation is being done. So in future do not be surprised to see plays and fashion events in an art exhibition.
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