‘Artists and entrepreneurs are society builders’ – creative insights and artworks from Team Yuva Art Collective 2022
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Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath recently hosted the group exhibition by the Team Yuva Artists Collective – 2022. Curated by Somesh Swamy it featured paintings and sculptures of 16 artists of Karnataka (see Part I of our coverage here).
Expression and exhibition
“The vision behind the exhibition was to expose how artists and practitioners creatively portray their lives. The exhibition is like a mirror of our society and nature, with a wide range of combinations and styles,” curator Somesh Swamy explains, in a chat with YourStory.
Curators and artists both need to work together for the success of a show. It calls for teamwork, alignment and stamina in presenting messages to society.
“Art is love, affection and a space for self-analysis. Art is the beauty of essence. It creates conversations between audiences and visualisers,” Somesh adds.
“An artwork is a way for artists to express their inner feelings in terms of their own creativity. Success comes from reaching people through this artwork and connecting to their feelings. The satisfaction an artist gets when a spectator gets attracted to the artwork is invaluable,” landscape painter Venkatesh Rao explains.
“Success comes from audience appreciation of the artists’ feelings expressed in the artwork,” MN Patil agrees. His works depict the selfless contributions of Aghori sadhus.
The curator and artists share insights and resilience tips on how they weathered two years of the pandemic.
“The pandemic hit us hard. But at the same time, I could go to a different world with my paintings when the real world looked so dispiriting,” Sudeshna Ukil recalls. She is now delighted that physical exhibitions have restarted, and groups of artists can put up a show and share each other's creative ideas.
“Artists were cut off from exhibitions and business during the pandemic. Artists always face challenges, but this time they had to explore deeper with their inner eye and look for happiness,” Somesh Swamy adds.
“During the initial days of the pandemic, I painted a lot just to avoid the effect of lockdowns. But later it impacted me also, I remember not touching art materials for a long time. Somehow, I gathered my strength and started to paint again,” Tuhina Srivastava recalls.
“Many artists’ lives were impacted by the pandemic. They too suffered, faced financial crises, and lost markets for their work,” Venkatesh Rao recalls.
However, since many could not go out, they spent more time on their artwork. “A side effect of the pandemic was that artists had more time to work freely and fearlessly,” he adds.
“As human beings, we all share the same sorrows, the same hopes, the same potential. The pandemic has reminded us how interdependent we are: what happens to one person can soon affect many others, even on the far side of our planet,” Swathi PN describes.
“We don’t yet know the answer – and, in some respects, we don’t even know the right questions to ask. The virus will continue to test our mental strength and relationships, aggravate existing inequalities in society, highlight the need for greater sustainability, and demand new ways for us to thrive in 2022 and beyond,” she adds.
“Many artists struggled to sell their works during the pandemic, but they also contributed to society through social messages and increasing awareness,” MN Patil explains.
“The pandemic was a time of hardships and pain. Many artists had no revenue or even access to materials during the phases of restrictions,” Chandan Singh says. He had to resort to other kinds of commercial work before he was able to come back to art.
“The pandemic times were horrible days, the depressing vibe created disquiet. It was difficult not only financially but also mentally,” laments Pratibha Hooli, a graduate of MMK College of Visual Art, Gulbarga.
“Hopefully, this is over now, we are moving on, we are all looking forward to coming back. I am just focused on developing new work and trying to keep a positive outlook,” she adds.
Messages and methods
The artists also offer tips and words of advice for audiences and artists.
“Art is an integral part of everyone's life. To be able to appreciate and connect with an artwork is as much an art as the work of art in itself,” Sudeshna explains.
“Look into nature for ideas and look within yourself for inspiration,” she advises artists. “It is a joy to be able to express what I see differently, and it's a pleasure when we connect with people through our art,” she adds.
“Audiences and people, in general, should put their skills to use to improve others’ lives. This will change your life also in the process,” Chandan urges.
“People should support artists through appreciation and encouragement, as well as financial support,” Venkatesh Rao suggests. “Working hard is the only way to improve and impress. Don’t worry about the money—first reach people through art,” he advises artists.
People should visit exhibitions and buy artworks that they appreciate – this will help artists, according to MN Patil.
“Encourage the younger generation to build a positive attitude for art appreciation, be it performing art or visual art. This helps youth and children become more understanding and smart when they grow up,” Tuhina recommends.
“Aspiring artists go through a lot ups and downs, but should carry on with their good work to reach their goal,” she adds.
“Art appreciation helps open up the mindset of people, by listening to different perspectives, views and interpretations of art. It encourages thoughtful conversation and the understanding that there is more than one approach to everything,” Swathi suggests.
“Connect with the right people for influence, inspiration and ability to create. Learn from the works of great artists, but experiment with form, style, and techniques,” she adds.
“Try to notice everything around you. Go to familiar places and try to find some little things that you have not noticed before. Such training will help you learn to pay attention, be observant, and be mindful,” Swathi advises.
“Whatever you do, the only secret is to believe in it and satisfy yourself. Don’t do it for anyone else. Be what you want, be proud of how hard you are working. Success is good fortune that comes from aspiration, perspiration, inspiration and even desperation,” she adds.
“The fast pace of modern society has led to less time to spend in deep appreciation of art and too much consumerisation,” Somesh N Swamy observes. “Buy original artworks, don’t spend on cheap imitations – that damages the lives of artists,” he adds.
“Frankly share your view of artworks with artists, and judge what is best for yourself. Discuss with others, and learn more about the presence and effect of art,” he recommends.
“Don’t blindly focus on presentation – study art theory and history. Be with art steadily and strongly, and appreciate its beauty. Don’t blindly copy or raise prices high,” Somesh advises artists.
Art is not just history but also modern practice. “Indian society needs more art teachers and trainers, and art décor. Artists and entrepreneurs are society builders. The richness of art should be enjoyed, and new waves of artists should be supported for the growth of society,” he sums up.
“Art appreciation helps open up the mindset of the people. Every artwork elicits an emotional response in the viewer,” Pratibha explains.
“I want to see more people get interested in art and appreciate it. Buy the paintings and encourage artists,” she advises audiences.
“There is no perfect and only way to achieve your dreams. Don't be discouraged by comparing yourself to others, never stop learning,” she advises artists.
“When we create art, we elevate our mood. We improve our ability to solve the problem and open our minds to new ideas,” Pratibha signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to harness your creative core?