From climate change to cultural heritage: how artists impacted audiences at Chitra Santhe 2020

In our second photo essay on India’s largest street festival for art, we share more pictorial highlights and artist insights from Chitra Santhe 2020.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 425 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The 17th edition of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath’s annual Chitra Santhe featured over 1,500 artists this year. See Part I of this photo essay series here, as well as our coverage of five earlier editions of Chitra Santhe: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

There were a number of religious and traditional styles represented, such as Madhubani, Gond, Warli, Tanjore, Pattachitra, and Kerala murals. There was also craft, pottery, jewellery, and even coffee art (made from beans and decoction).

Children were treated to portraits and face paintings (and there were ubiquitous selfie opportunities as well). Full-time and hobby artists aged seven to 75 delighted over three lakh visitors. The focus of the festival in Bengaluru this year was the life of farmers, agricultural life, and nature.

The artist lineup included Mahesh Halshetti, Jahnavi KJ, Shital Shah, A Ramu, Anuja Devale, Abhijeet Tikone, Chand Kumar, Aniket Khupse, Rajini Khatokar, Kalu Charan, Priya Sawale-Bambal, Bavani Shekaran, Supreetha Shetty, Sheena Anam, Sudhir Shetty, Jayanti Bhattacharjee, and Subhashchandra Gowda.

“My works for this exhibition are mostly to do with wildlife and nature. As artists, we can bring forth awareness of the happenings around the world to the audience,” explains Sreelatha P, in a chat with YourStory.

She exhibited artworks on the devastating fires in Australia to draw people’s attention to the challenges of global warming. “Chitra Santhe is an event where there's always a huge turnout and the message can reach a wide audience,” she adds.

“I am glad many took a notice of the message I portrayed with the artwork and appreciated the effort,” she proudly says. Her artworks were priced from Rs.500 to Rs.3,000.

Charita Dasappa, who studied design at Portland State University, presented a number of paintings featuring elephants. “Elephants are looked upon as marauders in certain farming communities. I wanted people to think why elephants are sometimes forced to feed on standing crops,” she explains.

Her paintings provoke viewers to ponder on questions of human encroachment on wildlife habitats, and on solutions to human-animal conflict. Her other projects are in woodcut printmaking; her earlier works were figurative abstract paintings. The paintings are priced in the range Rs.9,000 to Rs.90,000,

“My journey in the world of art has been a beautiful and rewarding learning experience. I enjoy observing and absorbing what the universe offers, and in turn interpret it in my own way,” Charita enthuses. She has also participated in the Avala Hejje and Brahmanda exhibitions.

“I absolutely loved the vibrant atmosphere at this year’s Chitra Santhe. It was really festive. I did get some wonderful positive feedback from the audience, especially fellow artists, which I truly cherish. I’m now inspired to scale up in terms of the size of my works and also to simplify it further,” Charita signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new inspiration for your deeper creative side?

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