From idea to implementation: how these batchmates founded an art platform with over 2,000 art works in stock
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 385 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.
Tucked away in Mumbai’s New Great Eastern Mills is a gem of an art gallery, called Nine Fish. It is managed by art platform Dot Line Space, co-founded in 2015 by Gourmoni Das, Piyush Bavalia, and Shruti Bhosle. All are graduates of JJ School of Art in Mumbai.
“We believe in bringing together different art movements from around the globe and creating spaces which become talking points of historically-diverse visual expressions,” says Gourmoni Das, Director of Dot Line Space, in a chat with YourStory.
“We create, curate, collaborate, and celebrate art in its diverse forms. Art, we think, is a profound language. And we are here to convey its many nuances through cross-cultural dialogue, critical inquiry, and interdisciplinary collaborations,” he adds.
Launched by Anurag Kanoria, Nine Fish Art Gallery is owned by The Great Eastern Home. The structure was reportedly built way back in 1839, and some of the elements of this old textile mill are still preserved. The quaint neighborhood also has an antique furniture store and a pond with swans.
“We started our very first exhibition, Retro-realism in a Postmodern World, in this very gallery. We have been managing the gallery since then,” Gourmoni recalls.
The focus is on sensitivity and debate, and on the true essence of art. The team has organised exhibitions, art camps, workshops and other activities that “connect the dots” within the art community. Audiences and partners include art institutions, government bodies, and corporates.
The batchmates started on this journey while in college, and are still partners today. As emerging trends in India’s art movement, Gourmoni identifies new media, installation art, and performance art as current buzzwords.
“We also believe that art should not be elitist in nature, and should have a place in everyone’s life. We have affordable art starting from Rs 5,000 onwards, in addition to works of master painters,” Gourmoni says.
Around 20 visual artists and 50 from other fields like music, drama, theatre and literature have performed or been featured with Dot Line Space. There are over 2,000 works in stock, ranging from paintings and sculptures to prints and mixed-media installations. “We have already hosted more than 50 experimental theatre performances, workshops, and musical events,” Gourmoni adds.
Past exhibitions have been titled Contemporary Trajectories, Re-Unveiling Kolte, Trilogy, Mutant Spaces, We Are All Islands, Fading Cultures, Journeys, Water, and Mapping Stillness. A national art camp has been conducted, and a pan-India art competition is being planned.
Much can be done to improve appreciation of art and design in India. “All art schools in India must have an art appreciation course along with the regular academics. Students of art must accept and explore learning activities outside of their own institution, through foundations, galleries, museums and government agencies,” Gourmoni recommends.
“Try and experience art. You don’t necessarily have to jump into finding a meaning. Not every artwork is necessarily representational, some are just expressions,” he advises audiences.
The artist lineup, some of whose works are featured in this photo essay, include Douglas John, Brajmohan Arya, Rahul Mukherjee, Sharmistha Ray, Srinivas Pulagam, Saju Kunhan, Helen Brahma, Digbijayee Khatua, Kedar Desai, Madhu Das, Mainaz Bano, Mitali Shah, and Rashesh Chauhan.
“Keep working and be free with your medium,” Gourmoni offers as tips for aspiring artists.
Now, what have you done today to not just find your passion but persevere to make it a reality?
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