Bhubaneswar Art Trail issues list of artists for the mega event on art

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Bhubaneswar: Organisers of the Bhubaneswar Art Trail (BAT), city-based Utshan Foundation, today announced the list of 20 artists for the upcoming mega event, which would be inaugurated on November 18 and later would be opened for public from November 19 till December 18.

Utsha Foundation is organising BAT in collaboration with the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Tourism Department of the State Government. The event will be curated by well-known artists with international repute Jagannath Panda and Premjish Achari.

In all, 20 artists from Odisha and other states of India as also from abroad have confirmed their participation in the project. The important contemporary artists who are participating from India and abroad are Gigi Scaria, Sudarshan Shetty, Sharmila Samant, Arunkumar H.G., Markus Baenziger, Cecile Beau, etc. From Odisha some of the promising artists who are participating are Pratul Dash, Satyabhama Majhi, Subrat Behra, Suchismita Mohanty.

The artists participating in this edition are renowned contemporary artists from India and abroad. They have made their mark in contemporary art through significant artistic interventions and participations in many reputed international biennales and exhibitions. Some of them such as Markus Baenziger, Sharmila Samant and Gigi Scaria are art educators too who are teaching art in universities and they have been participating in the best biennales and exhibitions across the world. Arunkumar HG, Cecile Beau, Sudarshan Shetty, etc. are also highly renowned artists who have made their mark in the international level.

Artists from Odisha, for example Satyabhama Majhi, Ramakanta Samantaray, and others are also known for their commitment to art education and historical research. The participants in this exhibition also features architects such as Sayantan Maitra and Sibananda Bhol who are well known architects and designers. They will present their creative architectural vision for the city.

Teja Gavankar is a young sculptor who uses elements of architecture in her art works. Artists such as Arnika Ahldag, Sailen Routray, etc. brings in strong element of research on contemporary social issues into their art practice. Pankaja Sethi is a very famous textile designer from Odisha. Some of the artists such as Pratul Dash, Niroj Satpathy, Subrat Kumar Behera, Suchismita Mohanty, Ramahari Jena, etc. are some of the best artists who have come out of Odisha in the recent past.

Together these artists will create an artistic vision for the Bhubaneswar city. Their artworks will reflect their visions, concerns and propositions for this city. They will be staying in Bhubaneswar during the one-month residency and interact with the local residents. They will carry out their research and make their works involving the young art students of Bhubaneswar. During this time they will also talk about their works in public talks and interact with the art students and general public.

The participation of the local community by providing their residential space to the display of artworks would be a big USP for the event. The trail is located alongside the historical monuments (7th Century AD onwards) and because of this project the area will be developed without hampering the structures.

This will be the first public art venture of Odisha on such a scale and would attempt to leverage contemporary art to inspire the community. Artists will stay in the Old Town of Bhubaneswar for one month and interact with the space, local community and young art students. Students from various art colleges have agreed to volunteer for this venture. Art colleges have opened up their studios for the visiting artists to work there.

BAT’s attempt is to promote a new way of building cities which does not ignore the traditional structures. The event’s vision is to promote Bhubaneswar as a heritage city. Various outreach prgrammes such as seminars, children’s workshops, film screenings and cultural programmes have been planned.

This project is located in a trail of 1.3 km in Bhubaneswar with street houses, important medieval monuments, contemporary architecture, schools, shops and public institutions etc. Artists will explore these edifices from different time periods, and interact with the community to record not only their memories, but also their dreams and yearnings.

The theme of BAT ‘Navigation is Offline’ refers to the contemporary technology-driven societies’ overreliance on navigational technologies to identify, access and reach destinations.

“BAT 2018 provides a wonderful opportunity for artists to explore the beautiful old town of Bhubaneswar. It is heart-warming for me to see such an amazing congregation of contemporary artists. It is going to be a unique public art exhibition in India, which will take art closer to the communities,’’ said Jagannath Panda and Premjish Achari, artists and curators of BAT 2018.

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