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    Artcore UK organizes Artists Residency in Vadodara

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    Artists from UK and Baroda creates their art under theme of Winter Narratives

    Indian winter is something gives people a moment to enjoy the cold weather under the sun and taste the delicacies. The moment can be best described from the eyes of artist using their different styles to present the beauty of the nature.

    Vadodara witnessed one such art show featuring artists from UK and India to display their work in between the nature. The artists attend the 12 days camp organised by Artcore to present their work under the theme Winter Narratives.

    Artcore Gallery was established in the city of Derby in England in 2009 by Zahir and Ruchita Shaikh, both past students of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, who immigrated to the UK in 2005. Over the last 10 years, they have been regularly holding art exhibitions in Derby, inviting artists from Baroda to participate. More than 50 young artists have thus been given an opportunity to show their artworks abroad for the first time.

    Through their hard work and focused approach, Artcore which is registered as a Fine Arts Charity, is increasingly being supported by several funding organisations as well as the Arts Council of England for many key projects. They are now recognized as a major force in the field of Fine Arts in the East Midlands region of England. Derby is very close to Nottingham one of the most vibrant arts centres in England after London as well as Leicester and both cities have large and proactive Indian populations.

    “Since the last two years, Artcore has been organizing Artist Residencies in Baroda, getting a team of British artists to participate along with local artists. The underlying objective is to have selected British artists travel to India, generally between 12-15 days and introducing them to India, Baroda and to art and artists in the city. This is like a art exchange between the two counties as the artists from UK work alongside local artists to create beautiful artworks based on the given theme,” said Zahir Shaikh.

    The Residency is built around a theme so that, given the short time of the Residency, only those artists who can respond to the theme are selected and making sure that the works they create resonate the theme as much as possible. Last year, the Residency was themed around the celebration of Utran, Kite-flying, with a team of 3 artists and 2 filmmakers. The film, a documentary on the festival, was made for the University of Derby as part of their research project in the Department of Digital Media Studies.

    This year, ‘Winter Narratives’ is Artcore’s second artists Residency in India, bringing together British and Baroda artists to work along with each other. The artists are Dr. Chris Wright, Hannah Marsh, Jenny Bramley from the UK, and Sashidharan Nair, Maneesha Doshi, Kamal Pandya, Prantik Chattopadhyay, Sudipta Das, Roshan Chhabria and Astha Patel from Baroda.

    “Winters in Baroda are the best time to be here to enjoy being outdoors, bask in the sun, partake of a vast variety of freshly harvested vegetables, cooked in very many special ways. It is also a time when the galleries are booked for back-to-back shows, there is music in the air, and a generous sprinkling of dance and theatre, film screenings, talks and lectures. The aim is to experience the winter and explore the city,” said Zahir.

    The ‘Winter Narratives’ Residency is designed around several ideas. Firstly, there is the idea of introducing the participating British artists to the significance of figuration and the narrative in contemporary Indian art that became the signature of art practice in what has come to be known as the ‘Baroda School of Art’. Secondly, there is the idea of narrative as a story that is translated into a visual elaboration. (The sprawling ravine-land of the Residency offers inspiration enough!) Thirdly, there is the idea of narratives developing out of discussions that the participating artists have with each other and with visitors to the Residency. Lastly there is the idea of the individual narrative-in-the-head of every artist. Participants could follow whichever idea they want and create artworks accordingly.

    On of the artist from UK Hannah Marsh said, “Fascinated with the textures and patterns hidden around Highness Farm, l have depicted a section of mould growing upon the walls of the staircase in one of the abandoned buildings. The piece considers the feeling of imisibility and fragility experienced in migration by re-creating a hidden memory using pencil, ink and delicate paper. A short piece of writing by Varsha Navin accompanies the piece and beautifully captures her mother’s experience of migration, a story I find reflective of my own family history.”

    Senior artist Dr. Chris Wright beautifully created her artwork around the natural sounds of nature and displayed it in the show. One can be amazed by the natural recorded sounds of Rice Box, Bamboo and feathers to record the sounds from Soprano Recorder to try and entice more creatures to the area. She said the experience here is great and get the chance to do something new.

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