They come to help the artists. And they themselves are artists. They are like angels who help gods in delivering boons. Every time Sandarbh gets volunteers from different art colleges and other institutions. Some of them stay throughout the workshop some of them visit and go. Abhijeet Tamhane, Mumbai based art critic volunteered to come and spend time with the Nature Art Workshop members. During the day time Tamhane moved around
and found out that most of the folks carry catapults with them. He saw a V shaped wood at a village fence and he converted it into a giant catapult. At night Abhijeet Tamhane talked to the artists about Public spaces for art. Luhari Village
(Abhijeet Tamhane preparing his catapult)
(Abhijeet with his catapult)
(Abhijeet addressing the camp members at Sandarbh, Silvaasa)
Pari Baishya comes from
. She is a second year painting student from Delhi College of Art. She has been there as a motivating force. Pari is a good dancer and a good conversationalist. She could drag the reluctant and shy into a debate; obviously not of high voltage intellectual discourse, but teasers and poking that suit to her age and attitude. Delhi
Deep inside the forest, Pari finds pool. She wants to perform there. She wants to become the nature’s bride. She decorates her body with ‘alta’, a red solution generally used by the brides and grooms to paint their feet and palms red. She wears some special clothes for the occasion. And at the pool side, while all of us witness, Pari sings songs and dance, and spreads ‘alta’ into the pool. And she becomes one with it. And she submits herself to the pool. All red.
(scenes from Pari's performance)
Neha Narayan also comes from Delhi College of Art. She is second year painting graduate student. A clear contrast to the flamboyant Pari, Neha keeps silence most of the time and the occasional smiles light up her face. There is a sort of brooding innocence in her eyes. While strolling through the village paths Neha sees a piece of log wood lying abandoned there. She lifts it with the help of village kids and brings it over to a vacant field.
(Neha Narayan getting a log wood for her work)
Neha wants to create an ode to nature. This piece of wood she finds seems to be the most befitting surface for her to work with. She exhorts the young kids around to college weeds, plants, figs, pods, flowers, cactus, grass, leaves and so on from the vicinity. Then suddenly you have some specimens from all what is available from the live of flora around. Neha, with a lot of patience ties each piece of finding/produce to the log wood. Finally it becomes a trophy of nature’s bounty. On fine morning she finds goats eating way her work. She shoos them away and does it all over again. It is a very impressive work.
(Neha at work)
(The final work)
Rucha Mehta comes from Thane. She studied art at the
, Mumbai. Currently she works as a graphic designer. Rucha volunteers to come with her two little daughters. Initially, she studies the life style of the people in Luhari. She finds their crafts dying and the village folk preferring to work in factories than in paddy fields. Paddy fields don’t yield much to them. So they are in poverty. While children tend the cattle, elders go to work in factories. While lazing behind the cows, children weave things out of whatever available around. Raheja School
(Rucha Mehta at her work)
Rucha finds that this skill of weaving and plaiting comes from a rich tradition of craft, which has now become useless. However, the people here still weave things to decorate their houses and make humble toys. With the help of the kids around, Ruch makes a whole lot of images plaited out of leaves other forest materials. She then sticks them on to the walls of the houses as if they were butterflies. She tries to capture a beautiful, impermanent and dying culture.
(The village folk with Rucha's work)
(Rucha's work using the humble craft of Luhari)
Somu Desai is the Bond, Somu Bond for the young volunteers. Somu is an artist but not a volunteer. He facilitates Sandarbh in Luhari. A man of way with different materials, Somu has a quick fix solution for anything related to materials. In his huge studio in Pardi he has developed various techniques to make artistic object out of anything including industrial materials.
The ammonia printing technique, which is generally used for making blueprints of architecture, in Somu’s hands is an artistic medium. He uses very cheap paper for smearing ammonia solution. In his indigenously developed makeshift device to ‘treat’ the paper with ammonia vapors, Somu could convert anything into a blue image. He calls it his ‘ammonia lab’. It is not just about the ‘blue print’. With variation of the density of the solution, the intensity of light, Somu could get different kinds of print effects. Somu demonstrates this for the young artists. He does an ammonia image of Pari. A totally different Yves Klein, Somu is.
(The Human image is transfered in Somu's Ammonia Lab)
(Somu Desai with his Ammonia Print)
Then we have Amol Patil from Mumbai, who paints the village fences red.
(Amol's painted fences)
And we have Ronak Jadav from Amalsad, who connects branches of trees literally with their own roots.
(Ronak Jadav at his work)
Dhara Dave, a young art history post graduate from Baroda was with the participating artists throughout in the capacity of a volunteer. She teaches art history at the Fine Arts College in Surat and does her research in Baroda. In Sandarbh, she is enamored by the birds. She thinks about the notion of home and homelessness vis-a-vis nature and culture. She creates a series of nests, which resembles the nests of the humming birds. These are made out of used papers. Dhara displays them at the Silavaasa Gallery
Mughda Joshi, a young photography artist was there throughout to document these actions. And she presented her selected photographs before the local audience.
So that was Sandarbh Nature Art Workshop 2010 at
, Silvaasa, folks. Luhari Village