‘Souza In The 40’s​’, An Art Extravaganza At Sunapranta, Goa

Art in its any form, literally draws me and pulls me to it. Creativity is something that I imbibe in myself and have a great appreciation for. Be it performing arts or static, I have huge respect for artists who vent out their innermost emotions through their art. I sometimes try to do that myself through my writing or my paintings and even through my cooking.

Although I don’t follow too many artists in particular when it comes to paintings, what I do like is doing researches on various categories like portraits, object paintings, nature, modern art, nudes etc. and then try and study nuances of each artist. Francis Newton Souza has been one artist whose work caught my attention on various occasions. Especially when I started living in Goa, I learned more about him and his work, since he was a Goan too. The way he depicted local Goan life through his art was really commendable. His bold use of colors like dark pink and orange in many of his paintings is something I greatly admire.

To see more of his work and learn more about his journey, right when he started, I visited the Sunapranta, Goa Centre For Arts, which has an on-going exhibition named “Souza In The ’40s”. The exhibition showcases not just the noteworthy artworks by Souza but also unveils his rawness by displaying his early sketches and drawings.

Souza’s Art

The subjects covered in the paintings of Francis Newton Souza comprise of still life, landscapes, nudes, icons of Christianity, local Goan life etc. One of his most recurring and celebrated themes was that of the conflicts in a man-woman relationship. The women who ascended his canvases were often bold and challenged the thought process of their observers. The figures that gave life to his paintings were deliberately distorted and revealed an uninhibited, realistic style.

Attitude and Early Life

Souza was a rebel and non-conformist, and his views reflected the style of his painting. Through his paintings, he often condemned and criticized the hypocrisy of the Church, the atrocities of the rich and the repression of sexuality in a country like India, which otherwise boasted of Khajuraho. At the same time, there was a visible influence of the folk art of Goa, the Renaissance paintings, landscapes of the 18th and 19th century Europe, etc.

His rebellious attitude had its seeds right from his school days. He was enrolled at St. Xavier’s High School in Bombay, and he was expelled for depicting nude images on the walls of boy’s restroom. Though he claimed that he was only correcting the already drawn images, he was expelled on the grounds of drawing pornographic images. He then attended the famous Sir J.J. School of Art in Bombay, and yet again expelled for taking part in the Quit India Movement.

Notable Work

Souza was not able to sell most of his work in India until after his death. In 1957, his painting ‘Man and Woman Laughing’ sold for a record price of Rs.16.84 crore at the Saffron art auction, held in New Delhi. At a Christie’s auction in 2008, his painting ‘Birth’ created a record for being the most expensive Indian art ever sold in an auction till date. The painting was sold for a whopping 2.5 million USD. When the same painting was resold at Christie’s in 2015, it fetched over 4 million USD.

About Sunapranta

Sunaparanta-Goa Centre for the Arts is a non-profit education based arts initiative of Dattaraj V. Salgaocar. The Centre is located in the beautiful Altinho hills of Panjim and offers spaces for exhibition galleries, workshop spaces, an open-air amphitheater and also a pretty and quaint little cafe called Al Fresco

The center takes lots of initiatives to promote and help emerging artists and also hold workshops for other enthusiasts to learn many different types of creative skills.

I had a great time witnessing artworks by such a renowned artist and thoroughly enjoyed the calm vibes of Sunapranta. Do keep a watch on all the events that the center holds and make the most of it.

Sunapranta Goa

Goa Centre For The Arts
63/C-8, Near Army House
Altinho, Panaji – 403 001.
GOA.

Tel   :  +91 832 2421311

Email:  info@sgcfa.org

Wishes and Blessings Organise a Painting Competition at Balwant Rai Mehta School!

Established in 2014 with a mission to ‘inspire and empower dreams’, Wishes and Blessings is a registered NGO that has emerged as a unique platform for helping the underprivileged. We aim to spread blessings and fulfil wishes by linking beneficiaries with donors. We work across
the spectrum of society surpassing age and gender barriers on diverse causes including education, health, skill development and relief. With their continuous effort in various fields, they strive to reach out to as many needy people as possible and according to their age and requirements, they put in efforts to fulfil their wishes.

Recently in association with Balwant Rai Mehta School, they organised a painting competition for children and I was bestowed upon an opportunity to be present their as a judge. Though judging the talent of these amazing kids is never justified and always a difficult task, but like the say its not about winning or loosing, its about the passion and the spirit. The moment I entered in the hall, I could sense the high spirits, excitement and passion that children were putting in painting their imaginations on sheets. As I kept moving, I felt as if each painting spoke something to me, it spoke to me of their sheer dedication, it spoke to me of the fact that they were not doing it for any competition, it didn’t matter if they won or not, they were doing it to satiate their own creativity. And each painting better than the other, put me as an artist to shame. The imagination that these children possess, their vividness is something we can never achieve as adults.

The best part about the event was that specially abled, and hearing impaired children were also part of it, but they were not made to feel any different. They were sitting like regular children and till the time, one actually doesn’t interact and come to know of their issues, its never showcased. And I would say that probably we as adults feel more for their disabilities, but the confidence they show, the way they carry themselves is unmatched.

After soaking myself in their art for about an hour, when I could not take my eyes off their working, it was finally time to judge the top 3 in all categories and this I would say was the most challenging part. In true sense each painting was better than the other and on several occasions we ended up being confused on which one to chose. After juggling our heads for long, finally 3 winners were chosen in each category, and all thanks to the support from Wishes and Blessings, the first winner in each category got scholarship worth Rs. 10000, to help them pursue their dreams further in the field of art.

It was a great event and I felt very privileged to be a part of it. I am looking forward to attend more events by Wishes and Blessings and somehow in my own little way contribute to the well being of mankind.

Baaya Design Unveils ‘Anantaya’ Concept Studio In Mumbai

Baaya Design has launched the ‘Anantaya’ concept studio, Jaipur based décor brand in Mumbai. Anantaya Décor products will now be available exclusively at Baaya Design Store, Lower Parel. ‘Anantaya’ fuses the art of master artisans with the keen eye of award- winning designers. The final effect is a timeless masterpiece that beautifies any space it adorns. An institution of global repute, ‘Anantaya’ is committed to the development of ideas, and understands the importance of preservation of traditional crafts as well as the need to innovate. Using unusual yet traditional materials and processes, the designers present a fresh twist to design with an array of cutting edge artefacts, accessories, textiles, lighting solutions, furniture and many more utility products.

 

Representing Indian sensibilities in a contemporary context, Anantaya products appeals to the discerning, quality conscious minds that like to make a statement. Working with crafts people and artisans from Rajasthan, ‘Anantaya’ supports local craft traditions and technologies by providing capital, technology and design and marketing interventions, which at the same time showcase the uniqueness of the state and its crafts people.

Lift Top Lau Diya Br Oil Lamps:

Lau, (the flame), a double walled oil lamp made in copper and brass by the Thathera artisans of Jaipur, is an exquisite utilitarian object. Designed by Ayush Kasliwal, the first version of this lamp is gilded with gold and silver leaf. This version of the Lau Diya is simplified with the top detachable. Lau Diya has been awarded with the UNESCO Seal of Excellence for its’ innovative sustainable design. Available in three sizes, it is to be lit using liquid paraffin lamp oil only such as Amaya Luminessences. Before lighting, ensure that the wick is trimmed and not more than 1 mm above the wickholder. It is natural for the products to have subtle variations from piece to piece. Due to the nature of the materials used, there may be some tarnishing or aging of the material. This is a natural process and may require you to clean or polish the material.

Trinetra 10 Set of 3

An elegant trio of hand-hammered brass bowls inspired by Shiva’s third eye of enlightenment are a modern twist to the Thathera craft of Jaipur. These appear like mystical eyes, with lit marble tea light holders- an “eyeball” reflecting Lord Shiva’s inner light and spirit. Use all three pods strung together with hanging rods, in multiples as an installation or use them individually as vases, bowls. Trinetra is the artistic vision of the designer Ayush Kasliwal, a visionary Indian industrial designer who is keeping the traditional skills of local craftsmen alive with the creation of modern objects having a global impact. It is the winner of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence.An elegant trio of hand-hammered brass bowls inspired by Shiva’s third eye of enlightenment, are a modern twist to the Thathera craft of Jaipur.

 

Crescent Thaali Set Full

The Crescent Thaali Set inspired by classic pearl earrings from Deccan is wonderfully versatile. Configured as a crescent moon nestling a full moon with a built in carrying handle, this set is a piece of art. Made of sturdy brass hand hammered by the Thathera metal artisans, with traditional ‘kalai’ hand-tinning for food safety, this thaali set will serve directly from the kitchen, become an intriguing welcoming tray, or a presentation of delectable appetizers for your guests.

 

Shiva Jug

Shiva, the Auspicious One, has the water of the Ganges flowing from his dreadlocks. And so, healthful water will flow from this brilliantly designed handmade copper pitcher with an elegant balanced lid. Like the ‘Khamandalam’ a Yogi’s copperAyurveda water vessel, copper has healing properties contributing to longevity and restorative health. To complete this experience, an elegant copper tray is paired with copper glasses offset from their round bases to hug the form of the Shiva Jug. To clean, scrub with sponge and liquid detergent

Kalam Table- Maharaja

Kalam or pen is one of the tools used by the miniature painter who decorated this multifunctional reinterpretation of the wooden lacquer trays used in traditional Indian kitchens. In this painted table tray a Bhisthi is watering the garden while the Maharaja and his advisor look on. This example of functional art can be detached and used as a colorful food safe tray to present guests with dry delicacies. The table collapses for easy transport across the globe.

Ayush Kasliwal Furniture Design

Rumi Tea Light holder

Like the Sufi whirling dervishes.. the Rumi range is remniscent of the inner light and spiritual oneness…12 varieties of designs span the arches and motifs across the silk route. Can hold tealight candles too.

About Baaya Design:

 

‘Baaya’ in a local Indian language refers to the weaver bird that weaves its nest in a rather unique way. The store brings you the best in Indian Tribal art and craft which combines paintings with textiles and other craft forms to make each piece unique. Baaya Design aims to showcase the natural beauty and workmanship in Tribal Art by presenting them in contemporary colors, style and form.  By doing so, it offers original art that all of us can relate to. And with every painting that is purchased, you can bring income to a highly deserving individual – the artisan of India. The store provides customized design and implementation of traditional murals for interior and exteriors of homes and corporate offices.

Baaya Design studio offers a completely unique range of customized, Folk & Cultural Art, Art Installations, Murals, Lights, Accessories and Furniture that can transform any space into energized, living environments. The studio offers expertise to residences, commercial spaces and the hospitality industry. Designer Shibani Jain works with architects and interior designers to create optimized and aesthetic solutions for interiors. Faced with the challenge of customizing Indian Folk art in modern lifestyle spaces, Baaya Design has evolved numerous methodologies and processes to innovate and bring in the versatile skills into urban interiors.

 

Baaya Design, Pratamesh Tower, Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013 Tel: 022 022- 65210165 Visit: www.baayadesign.com

Indian Artisans Amplify Diwali Shopping

On the onset of the festive season, Hast Karigar Society rendered a lasting impressions on the shopaholics culture of Mumbai. The Delhi based NGO has been organizing the 6 day event for years now and this time too they hosted the annual property “Impressions” from Oct 12th-17th.  Hosted at Coomaraswamy Hall, Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai, the exhibition had artifacts and handicrafts made by  traditional painters, jewelers, weavers, craftspeople and hand block printers across India and sported their skill and creativity.

“Impressions” presents


Rhymes & Rhythms of Life


Reflecting the Harmony of Tradition, Colour and Creativity of our Weavers and Artisans


What: Impressions – an exhibition-cum-sale – Reflecting the Harmony of Tradition, Colour and Creativity of our Weavers and Artisans


Date:  October 12 to 17, 2016, from 10.30 am to 7 pm daily


Venue:  Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India), M.G.Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400023 (Near Colaba).


Summary:


Hast Karigar Society, a Delhi based NGO founded by a group of artisans, designers from Tribal areas of India present Impressions – an exhibition-cum-sale – Reflecting the Harmony of Tradition, Colour and Creativity of our Weavers and Artisans. This is the eight year running where Hast Karigar Society is bringing together 35 National & State awardee artisan members in Mumbai for its annual exhibition.

Hast Karigar exhibitions emphasize on reviving and redefining the traditional skills of traditional artisans to recreate a market that showcases Indian tradition and heritage while being sensitive to the present day requirements of the connoisseurs. Traditional artists, jewellery makers, handloom weavers, craftspeople and hand block printers from all over India participate in this exhibition expressing their skills weaved in motifs and symbols.

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This year’s exhibition showcased a collection of hand woven organic cotton (Popala, Karnataka) tussar and silk and khadi sarees, dupatta, stoles and fabrics from Benaras, Bhagalpur, Chanderi, Maheswar, Phulia, Sambalpur (Ikkat), Phalodi, Machilipatnam, and Kutch. Laheria, Batik, Shibori, Kalamkari, Indigo and Tie and Dye using vegetable and natural colours were the added attractions this year.

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Sanghaner, Bagru, Dabu, Ajrak, and Machilipatnam hand block prints on sarees, dupattas, stoles, fabric and home furnishings combined traditional shades of colours with a fusion of intricately cut traditional and contemporary designs and patterns.

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Colourful Durries from Uttar Pradesh and intricately woven Mats from West Bengal will also be on sale.Presence of Pattachitra, Miniature art, and Madhubani painting added style and colour to the exhibition.

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Lambani, Kantha, Rabari, Ari, Desert embroidery, Chikan and Applique reflected the skill of deft hands of our women artisans.

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Colourful dupattas, stoles and wrap-arounds adorned with hand crafted traditional motifs; woven by the tribal women residing in the forests of North Bengal were  stunning to look at.

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Unique collection of hand crafted Lambani jewellery, Rajasthan stone and silver jewellery, leather bags and candles from Pondicherry, Dhokra from Chhatisgarh, pottery & ceramics from Maharashtra leather puppets and lamp shades and block printed stationery was colourful and a joy to look at and buy.

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