"It’s a revelation for me, in a sense that I am encountering something completely new."
St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel opened its doors to Indian Art Week on June 10th, 2015.
Hosted by the incredible Farokh Engineer, ‘An Evening with the Artists’ welcomed an exceptional array of artists and emerging talent.
Official online media partners for Indian Art Week, DESIblitz were also present to find out more from the incredible array of talented artists.
During the course of the evening, Farokh Engineer and Satish Modi delved into their love for art and culture with the establishment of a Delhi-based International Institute of Fine Arts (IIFA) in 2000.
Both Farokh and Satish have dedicated many years to allow underprivileged children to explore a life beyond labour, and to encourage them to discover a brighter voice within themselves.
Watch all the highlights from ‘An Evening with the Artists’ here:
Farokh said: “This event is unique and beautiful. I think we are a very passionate people in India. We express ourselves in many ways, including painting.”
Joining the artists were many famous guests, including Christina Pierce. Christina notably took India by storm with her paintings of the Indian cricket team, from Ram Shergill, to Arjun Kanhai and Steve Barron.
An Evening with the Artists was more than simply auctioning artwork. It was a platform to not only exhibit and showcase the emerging talent within India and more experienced artists, but to delve deeper into the spiritual sub-consciousness that ties diverse cultures and human interaction together.
Ram Shergill is one such artist who brought along a powerful image titled ‘Queen of the Jungle’ for the auction.
The black and white photograph captures a subtle ferocity combined with power and an innate nobility that a woman possesses: “I’m not here to promote my work,” he added.
“I’m here because I love art, and I love what Mr [Satish] Modi has done today. I really believe that it can change people’s lives.”
He continued: “I think it’s time that we all have to get together – as Indian people, as British people, we really have to make a change. And I think we’re not doing that, nobody’s listening. We need to help and support young artists.”
Alongside Ram, Ella Prakash displayed and auctioned an acrylic on canvas titled ‘Unveiling Emotions’. The painting is full of symbolism and pride. ‘Unveiling Emotions’ represents the different stages in a woman’s life – particularly Ella’s life.
Artists absorb the world around them and reflect everything they see back onto a canvas. What you can see, is what you get. Ella says: “It’s the empowerment of women. I want to show women that they can do anything, I want to give them energy through this.”
The painting expresses the complexity of a female as well as a simple type of sexuality with bodily curves and soft pink tones. The transition is a celebratory one, it encourages the soul.
Indian Art Week is an important event for artists and people who simply appreciate good artwork. The event left quite an impression on Alice Kanterian from Germany, Bremen, who found An Evening with the Artist’s fascinating:
“It’s a revelation for me, in a sense that I am encountering something completely new. I’m interested as a journalist, I’m a traveller.
“I must say, this is my third event and I started with the V&A Museum. This was really a revelation. I’m getting the chance now to study, also.”
Events like these open a portal into a different type of world and allows for a unique experience. The light hearted and genuine atmosphere filled the hotel grounds with excitement and allure.
Channelling and feeding off the excitement were two young artists, Morris Monroe and Arjun Kanhai. Arjun is the youngest Indian artist to auction a painting at An Evening with the Artists.
Morris, a London based artist, uses drawing as a medium to translate the spiritual experiences of the mind, body and soul into a universal language. During the event, he created two pieces of artwork.
The process of delivering his soul and etching it onto a piece of parchment became the connective tissue between him and the audience watching.
Monroe says: “I think it’s exciting. Bringing western culture to help the education of Indian students and becoming more integrated.”
With Art becoming an increasingly important expression of identity for British Asians and South Asians today, the necessity of events like Indian Art Week and organisations like Arts for India (AFI) are vital.
They introduce a key platform for young emerging talent to get the break they so rightly deserve. They encourage young artists to continue to pursue their passions and follow their dreams.
It emboldens people to never give up. Indian Art Week has transformed and become a podium for all types of artists to stand upon and deliver their voice to a larger and wider audience.
For more details on Indian Art Week, please visit their website here.
See our gallery of images from the night below: