“My whole life is mine, but whoever says so
will deprive me, for it is in nite.
The ripple of water, the shade of the sky
are mine; it is still the same, my life.
No desire opens me: I am full,
I never close myself with refusal-
in the rhythm of my daily soul
I do not desire-I am moved;
by being moved I exert my empire,
making the dreams of night real:
into my body at the bottom of the water
I attract the beyonds of mirrors… “
Rainer Maria Rilke
During the participating festival artists can call upon various references:
Mapping of the terrain rivers, oceans, pools, deserts, and mountains
weather – dry, wet, hot cold
safe and secure waters
damaged waters – debris
under the water – coral reefs, sea creatures, and plants,
sacred and holy waters – ancient and now
blessed and purified waters – ambishekham, Prasad bathing
and birthing rituals
the sound of water
sustenance for the body and all living things
the essence of food – growing and preparation
traveling in rivers, oceans, paddies, glaciers
global consciousness – gravity, energy, infinite, calming, cyclical
natural disaster – hurricanes, monsoons, tsunamis
disasters due to lack of water thirst and hunger.
Water necessity, paucity, and pollution are concerns in various degrees across the Indian diaspora.
Artist talks and Moderated panel discussions through the residency and exposition on the curatorial subject of water, craft infusions in art, sustainability and ecology. The stage was graced by distinguished personalities such as South Asia’s leading designer, Rajeev Sethi, artist, Anjolie Ela Menon and Chairperson, Rajasthan River Basin & Water Resources Planning Authority, Ministry of Water Resources, River development & Ganga rejuvenation, Shri Sriram Vedire among many others.
Throughout her career as a painter, Anjolie Ela Menon has regularly re-envisioned her role as an artist. Menon’s early canvases exhibited the varied influences of Van Gogh, the Expressionists, Modigliani, Amrita Sher-Gil, and M. F. Husain.
Our panel of distinguished guests gathered to discuss the journey of water through their experiences. Moderator, Mr. Ashwini Singla and panelists, Mr. Sriram Vadire, Mr. Shashank Singh, Prof. Khangarot, Bhawani GS and Line Vincent Sunish.
How contemporary practice appropriates traditional craft and textile practices to develop
new languages. “The ‘Rivers of Blood’ project is particularly focused on water, though rivers play an important role in almost all my works.”
Rahul Baswani is an ardent art collector, with a view that the role of a collector is beyond that of just a buyer of artwork. He believes that the collector is also a supporter of the artist in his journey of creating art and a patron of the arts overall.
Rajeev Sethi is South Asia’s leading designer and is noted internationally for his innovative contribution to preserving and celebrating the subcontinent’s rich cultural heritage. He has identified ways to bring contemporary relevance to traditional skills of vulnerable artisan communities and creative professionals.
Moderated by Ms. Uma Prakash, the panel, which included Sunny Sebastian, Sahar Zaman, and Sharad Kohli discussed the role of mainstream media in bringing the focus on arts and culture to instill a sense of pride among the audience. The panel also touched upon how arts could be made more accessible i.e. arts reportage to mainstream media.
The festival had a multitude of live performances from renowned artists, rendering Hindustani classical music as well western music. The performers included theatre actor Danish Murtaza Hussain, artists Suresh K Nair & Alla Dickson, singer-performers Sveta Hattangadi Kilpady and Val Shipley, Jazz artist RigMona and Rajasthani Folk Musicians.