Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 9, 2008-2009

In 1938 the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, during his trip to India was honoured with three doctorates from Allahabad, Benaras and Calcutta universities. The sculptor, painter and art historian Alice Boner (1889-1981) from Zurich, who spent more than 45 years at the banks of the Ganga, in Benaras, was awarded the “Padmabhushan” in 1974 by the India President for her outstanding work on Indian art, especially sculpture and architecture is a reflection of the slim yet tenous link with India. During the years of World War II well known Swiss travel writer Ella Maillard, spent a number of years in the ashram of Ramana Mararishi, south of Madras, and reflected her unique experience in the novel “Ti Puss”.

Abhyas – Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 8, 2007-2008

It is the doing that there is perfection, and that is what we do at the Visual Arts Gallery . . . Seven is very much a significant part of the Indian numerology. It is symbolic of the ‘Saptarishis’ or the ‘Seven Great Sages’ borne of his mind, or the ‘Sapta matrikas’ – seven Hindu female deities.

Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 7, 2006-2007

It is boom time now. Or shall I say bloom time. India has undoubtedly captured the imagination of the world. Whether it is fashion, art, film or cuisine, but what is really at the top of the pyramid is business. In the last year, India has seen an unprecedented growth of 9 percent.

Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 6, 2005-2006

As art catapults into the domain of commerce from the domain of pure aesthetics, the complex spaces in between the travel have been moments of empowerment, knowledge, enlightenment and sublime bliss. These myriad emotions of ananda, of pure bliss, have their own paths of perception and interpretation. Within the Indian context, the entire discourse emerges from the 4th century text of dramaturgy – the Natyashastra.

Eye in Progress: A Photo Essay  Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 6, 2005-2006

Veeresh Babu’s almost naive pictures try to unravel his own fascination for a set of tree trunks which he chanced upon in 2002. While the photography jury in 2005 debated and pontificated on who should get the prestigious IHC fellowship for photography from a lot of 25 entries from all over the country, and subsequently shortlisted Ranjib De, Haran and Kriti Arora, there were a set of almost ‘naive’ looking pictures, which really could not be slotted into any particular genre of photography. Definitely not the genre of social documentary which is trendy and fashionable right now, or the Cartier Bresson slice of life, but a certain gaze at an everyday object. The simplicity of language, the perceptive eye and the capturing of texture colour and tone could simply not be ignored. The jury gave Veeresh Babu the award of The Eye in Progress.

Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 5, 2004-2005

Multiple voices and multiple languages can be read and re-read in this journal which is the 5th of the Visual Arts Gallery. In numerology, the energy of number five is said to be captivated by the new, the unknown, the unexplored. It loves the challenge of blazing new trails and charting new territory.

At the Feet of Vishnu, in the Locks of Shiva, Ganga Lives Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 5, 2004-2005

When a myth is inculcated into history it becomes academic and when it comes through folklore it becomes popular. But the religious myths are more prone to a canonical hold on the society especially through the orthodox Brahmanical dictatorship, which ruled the religious and social structure during the later Vedic Period. It is strongly inculcated into the religious beliefs of a community. The legendary divine incarnations, the celestials, the interaction of the mortals with the celestials are a part and parcel of religious sections of many civilizations of the world. These great mythologies are brought to the people through the artfully structure transcripts of the scholars and travellers, through the art works in the temples and through court art of the ancient and medieval kings.

Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 4, 2003-2004

Design is coming of age. Packaging is the new buzzword. “Creativity, design and culture and artistic talent are fundamental to. . . economic success.” (The Rt Hon Jack Cunningham, MP in ‘Create the Future’). Design is an attitude, it’s a culture too. Applied to everything from products to marriages, it defines the aspirations of the 21st century. Design has to do with a product’s Performance, Quality, Durability, Appearance and Cost. According to James Dyson, ‘Good Design is about looking at everyday things with new eyes and working out how they can be made better. It’s about challenging existing technology’. By curating and hosting shows such as the Design Showcase with the works of graduates from the National Institute of Design, the Habitat Centre takes the lead in exploring the future concerns of aesthetics, art creation and art relevance.

Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 3, 2002-2003

Art has been defined as a cultural signifier. Looked at from the perspective of a social construct art is difficult to define. In India photography is slowly gaining ground in the realm of art practice. Constantly changing, shifting and reinventing its role and position, photography continuously raises questions and calls attention to vital contemporary issues. For instance, who exhibits photography? What are the sites of display? Where is it researched? What photographs are ascribed a cultural value and what are the determinants of that value? Can narratives be constructed around photography in the writing of history? The significance of photography as a tool of communicative and cultural exchange has grown, especially in recent years. Evocative and spontaneous photography is an empirical process, where you are both the observer and the object, where seeing it your own way is the only way. Who can deny the versatility of photography and its ceaseless evolution? It is the images, the fruit of this media, that always have and will continue to defined the significance of photography.

Interview with Parthiv Shah Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 3, 2002-2003

Designer and photographer Parthiv Shah works with Prof. Jan Breman on image-based pictorial text on textile mill workers of Ahmedabad. Prof. Berman is an academic and author of numerous books. He has been working extensively for last forty years on unorganized labour in India and Indonesia.

Curatorial Note Visual Arts – The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Volume 2, 2002

It has been said that art is what makes life worth living, the experience of drawing promises the opening up of an individual’s creative and imaginative drive, allowing for the development of a more sensitive and mature whole. The uncovering of the structure of the aesthetic sphere: mind and heart, intellect and senses, caught in their intrinsic, multi-layered interrelatedness, favours a comprehensive grasp on the fountainhead of creativity, sympathy and awareness. Aesthetic values are perhaps the only ones, which have an in-built capacity to be shared by human beings independently from ethnic identity, ethical and religious conditioning.

The Art of Museum Making Kalakshetra Journal Dr. Alka Pande

Volume 10, 2009-2010