Goa has been a vibrant art, music and literary hub, and several artists from this sunny state have achieved international fame.
Before the inception of the Goa College of Art (GCA), students went to other institutes around the country. After it opened in 1983, they had to go to other cities for their Master’s degree. After many demands, the GCA finally opened a Master’s programme, a couple of years ago.
Daegal Godinho, owner of Carpe Diem Art Gallery, Majorda; and Goa College of Art faculty, Rajesh Chodankar, curated the show, titled I Am, which previewed on November 26, 2022. They aspire to extend guidance to some students who have just completed their final year, and others in their first year (Rajesh’s students).
Daegal and Rajesh began preparing for this show several months ago, with meetings and interactions to get to know the students' lineage, identify and explore their passions and motivation, held discussions, and noted the challenges an artist faces in order to attain an identity in the contemporary art scenario.
THE ARTISTS, THE ART
Gautam Nima: This educator, professional dancer and self-awareness facilitator was roped in to conduct sessions through movement, meditation and discussion so as to delve into the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of their identity.
Akash Gaonkar: He bases his work on geography and mythical, traditional stories of his village, Chorla Ghat on the border of Goa.
Akshaydeep Gawade is inspired by sustainability, and is opposed to the human need for greed, and lust for money. He serves as a reminder of our need to survive and thrive in coexistence with nature, and focuses on living in harmony with the elements in our environment.
Ashish Phaldesai, a keen ornithologist, draws inspiration from his love for nature, bird watching and natural colours and hues.
Jodan Inacio De Souza treasures his family's heritage of the fishing culture and is concerned about human greed and the ability of humans to destroy the environment.
Mrinal Sawantodkar has built her identity in art forms that aim to illustrate communal harmony of the scheduled caste values that her community maintains. Similar to her colleagues, her focus is also on the living elements of the environment, proudly maintained through its strong ties to both Hinduism and Christianity.
Narayan K Vernekar believes his goldsmith jewellery family background has shaped his life and spends time exploring the subject of human co-existence with nature. He reflects on the promise of technology and modern conveniences that have led to the changes in today’s material life.
Prayuj Velip is concerned by issues of illegal mining, and observes the deterioration of the physical environment due to human greed. He aims to capture both the timelessness and the emotional destruction of the landscape of his hometown, and explores the natural organic traditional practices of his designated Scheduled Tribe community, and questions the general derogatory outlook of people towards them.
Sahil Naik is connected to nature in the village of Sanvordem. He aims to show the ugly side of urbanisation and the potential destruction of the environment around him with the double tracking of railways running through his village, which is prevalent in his paintings and installations.
The subjects of the exhibits are akin to many contemporary artists. Hopefully, along the way, their individual oeuvre will evolve into imaginative themes, constructing works that will span spontaneity, energy and instinct, and depart from the inspiration of mainstream artists.
On exhibit at Carpe Diem Art Gallery, Majorda, till December 31, 2022 (from Wednesday to Sunday; 10 am to 7pm)