In Part II of our photo essay on the annual art fair Chitra Santhe, we feature more creative works along with insights from the artists.
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 280 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Held each year in Bengaluru on the first Sunday of January, Chitra Santhe ('painting fair') is regarded as one of India’s largest street fairs celebrating art. See Part I and Part III of our 2019 coverage, and write-ups on the earlier editions in 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.
The 16th edition of the festival is dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, marking his 150th birth anniversary. Art works at the festival are priced from Rs 100 to Rs 4 lakh, according to the organisers.
“My overall experience was very good as I came across genuine clients who were interested in my kind of art works. I got lots of appreciation from immensely enthusiastic art lovers who had thronged the streets, making the event a memorable one. Food was also provided to the artists, which is appreciated,” said Bengaluru-based artist Humera Ali, in a chat with YourStory.
She recommends that the venue be shifted from Kumara Krupa Road to the Palace Grounds, a move which is apparently being considered by the organisers as well to address traffic concerns. “It will be good to have canopies with basic light facilities,” Humera adds.
“Emerging artists find it very difficult to connect with the right kind of audience, and Chitra Santhe is a good platform for them in their career,” she says. She urges audiences also to take the opportunity to invest in art and decorate their homes. “Affordable art can be purchased at the Santhe, otherwise gallery prices tend to be higher,” she observes.
The fair also gives a chance for artists’ friends and families to give further support and experience appreciation from audiences. Humera was accompanied at Chitra Santhe by her husband Dr. Mohammed Ali, a dental implantologist. Their 12-year old daughter Aamina Sadiya Ali, who is studying at St Francis Xavier’s Girls School, has also tried her hand at art.
“Chitra Santhe for me was nature’s energy and colours spread over a mile for the believers to bathe in. Hundreds of artists, each with their own unique style and story, spent a beautiful day in the bright New Year together, eager to showcase and share their masterpieces with equally passionate patrons,” enthuses Mitali Tripathi, Co-founder of K-Store, an online platform for handmade Indian art and craft.
“I was especially impressed by the art awareness of the average visitor. A little girl, aged not more than six, asked me the most technical questions about how to set the palette just right. The business was good, but the returns were more than monetary,” she adds.
“Art is as integrated into the fabric of my life as breathing. There have been instances when I have spent hours at a stretch at my canvas but felt as if merely moments have passed. Sometimes it’s an out-of-the-body experience, where I am the painter and the observer, and can visualise the complete work and even feel I have met the subjects before,” Mitali adds.
She offers a number of tips for aspiring artists: do not chase styles and trends, do what makes you happy, and make smart use of social media channels. “The market will create itself around your passion. The body and the soul have to be kept together so that the paint and the canvas remain inseparable. Commerce must happen, but its pursuit must never corrupt the purity of true art,” she sums up.
Ravikumar Krishna has been exhibiting at Chitra Santhe for a number of years. “Art is an expression of my inner thoughts, I am always thinking how to convert the materials to my work,” he explains. Success can come in unexpected ways for artists, he adds.
“Chitra Santhe to me is a platform which I had always dreamt to be a part of, and being part of the festival this year brought me joy and honour,” says Swetha Nagori. “It gave me great exposure and experience like never before, I was awestruck being a part of such an extravaganza with such eminent artists. Beginners like me are buds blossoming in the sunlight of this event,” she explains.
“The happiness of making sales was that my art piece has found its appreciator, its home. As an artist, I believe that there is a person for every piece of art we produce; we just to have to find him or her. They can be anywhere in the whole world. The right time and right person have to come,” Swetha says.
A buyer of one of her art pieces could not take her eyes off it and picked it up, saying it was speaking to her. Swetha poetically describes art as food for the soul, a process of meditation, a trance-like experience, and a mirror of the self and of the future.
She sees success as beyond commercial sales. “For being successful, it is necessary to have consistency, commitment, love and passion. You should have the madness, confidence, and strength to show your creativity to this world. Such craziness that the universe has no choice but to give you what you seek and deserve. So keep painting and keep creating,” Swetha signs off.
Now what have you done today to stimulate your soul with the endless and inspiring joy of art?
Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!