Here “I Am...”

Published By: 
Navhind Times
Dated On: 
1st December 2022
Here “I Am...”

The Fine Arts scene in Goa has thrived in the last few years and many students have chosen to take this path after their initial years at school. The Goa College of Fine Arts has produced many trained artists (Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)), who are today household names. What was missing all this while was the opportunity for these artists to grow and qualify themselves with a Master’s degree in their home state. Many of them moved to other well-known art hubs like Vadodara, Hyderabad, Shanti Niketan in Kolkata and Mumbai, etc.

It is only in the last couple of years, after much demand that the Goa College of Art, finally was able to open its space for a master’s programme.

The participants of this exhibition titled, ‘I Am...’ are all students of this master’s programme- some having just completed their final year, and others who’ve just begun.

Rajesh Chodankar faculty at the college has had the chance to teach and interact with many batches of BFA students over the years. A guide to the latest batches of artists as they make their way through the MFA and to give them a good platform to begin their careers, he thought it might be prudent to put together a group show.

Together with Daegal Godinho, owner and director of Carpe Diem Art Gallery in Majorda, a slow and steady curation of the show began months ago. Beginning with submissions of profiles and simple interactions with the gallery and the students, time was spent on identifying and exploring the artists’ passions and what made them put pen or brush to paper. ‘The group discussions often centred on their family background, their real-time trials and issues and their traditional practices that gave them a sense of belonging and identity”, says Godinho.

Being an artist vas a theme that was explored not only from viewpoint of the artist but also from their most immediate audience. An understanding of this and what one’s market might be looking for was an important element of their exploratory journey. “Thus who we are, how we identify ourselves, how our geography, religion, family, current political issues, our environment, cultural practices and beliefs shape us became the central topic of focus,” Godinho says.

Over the course of the last few months, additional inputs from Gautam Nima, an educator, professional dancer and self-awareness facilitator, incorporated into sessions that allowed artists — through movement, meditation and discussion to further delve into the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of their identity, and thus initial sketches developed.

“I am...” aims to make a statement about the identity of these eight artists and how factors from nature, geography, environment, religion, caste, politics, humanity and more shape our lives.