The process of creating art begins with finding an inspiration. And this is the core idea behind ‘Scenic Sojourn’.
Inspiration coupled with imagination gives birth to an art work. And it is this idea of inspiring artists that is behind ‘Scenic Sojourn’— an artist camp amidst the beautiful hills of Himachal Pradesh. Organised by Easel Stories Art Gallery, the week-long art camp that begins today in the picturesque town of Kullu Manali is a retreat for the artists.
“We keep on organising a lot of artist camps in Noida but this will be the second time we are taking them amid nature. With all the needed art material available to them, they are free to use the canvas and get inspired from nature and people around them. So it is more of a retreat and less of an art camp,” shares Niyati Joshi, one of the organisers of the camp.
Artists from across the nation — from Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and other places — are participating, thus, the whole camp becomes an interactive space for them to share their experiences. “We have renowned artists like Fawad Tamkanat and Niladri Paul participating which helps budding artists understand the art better as they get a chance to interact with these renowned artists personally,” shares Joshi.
This camp will have 15 artists coming together. “We have around 80 artists whose work is there in our gallery and most of them have had shows together, so it makes it smooth for them to interact and have a gala time together. Other than art there is no other criteria for the participants,” says Joshi.
Fawad Tamkanat, who has been on his artistic journey for the past 40 years, feels that such camps which are close to nature always provide inspiration. “Such camps are always inspiring. When you go out you experience something new. Since it is an ensemble of artists from various places, it is a great platform to share our thoughts and discuss different techniques, styles of work and methods. And no matter how experienced one is, these interactive sessions are always enlightening. I love watching how the young talents approach a particular subject with even the medium being different, so are the techniques and the presentation,” shares Tamkanat, who is looking forward to working on cityscapes, large canvases and if weather permits, a few outdoor landscapes.
Artists often prefer such outdoor camps, feels Tamkanat. “There is no fun having camps in four walls. When you paint in your studio, the atmosphere becomes monotonous. When you go outdoors, there is a change in work but not a deliberate one. The change comes from inspiration,” shares Tamkanat, who believes that working on a canvas in the forest or the marketplace now makes him nostalgic. “During schooldays we would go to the market or railway station to sketch and now, after all these years, working in public places is something to look forward to.”
Adding to it artist Niladri Paul shares, “For any artist, being amidst nature, isolated from the city preoccupations, being with other artists is hugely therapeutic. Being at the retreat gets one’s creativity flowing, surrounded as one is by all the tools of work, the right environment and seeing everyone busy with their colours. Art needs to be more out in the public spaces, it’s not meant to be confined to a studio. Art needs to interact in order to evolve.”
Artist Arpan Bhowmik too prefers working outdoors as there is a great difference between working indoors and outdoors. “When you are surrounded by nature, the kind of colours you use are so vivid as your imagination works in sync with the reality,” shares Bhowmik who is looking forward to working with renowned artists.
The final works will be showcased in the gallery in Noida post the camp. They will also find their way to Kolkata this winter.