This gallery offers unique opportunity

This gallery offers unique opportunity

Art Socio combines art with socialising

This gallery offers unique opportunity

Art galleries could be mystery to many. To others it may be boring. To some it may be mecca of emotions and connecting within through creation of artists. And if it happens to be in the city of business and traders, housing an art gallery may be a challenging proposition.

Aditi Agarwal, the young artist and country’s only prodigy to have enrolled in a United Kingdom school to study scenic art, is now seeking to change this in the city of Ahmedabad.

Born in Nepal and schooled in Mussoorie International School, Aditi took up art very early in life and started pursuing it professionally from the age of 14. But it was only years later that the passion manifested within her and the urge in her and love for art made her to move ahead. She began her professional art education in school and from thereon went to Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, to improve her skills in 2007.

However, there was a slight twist in the tale – upon her return from Singapore, she decided to give up art completely and pursue something far away from her paintings. She enrolled for an event management course in Mumbai in 2011. It is here that she fell in love with the idea of organising happy events for people. And yes. There was always art that continued to beckon her. “I left my art, but my art was always there within me, making  me to go back and pursue it,”she said.

As a child, Aditi said, she was always inclined towards painting on big surface areas.  “Even as a kid, when I used to draw or paint, I’d first paste four A4-sized sheets together to make a larger surface area and then start painting on them. I did this without knowing what it was called,” she said. After little research, she learnt that the kind of art she does is nothing but scenic art, where an artist paints scenic backgrounds which are larger than life. And her decision was made and she decided to go to the UK to learn  scenic painting techniques, layout, paint application skills, colour mixing and techniques as marbling, ragging, wood graining and texturing.

She joined Old Vic Theater School, Bristol, UK, in 2013, to pick up nuances of scenic art and worked on a few paintings for theatres there. Larger-than-life canvases, tight budgets and short deadlines, a briefing from the production designer and incredible palette mixing – that was what encompassed her life in the UK. In fact, Aditi was one of the chosen few to be picked to an experience at The Royal Opera, London, for a little while.  

She also had an opportunity to do an exhibition in House of Lords for British parliamentarians. “It was the best time in my professional career as an artist. I could finally see the meaning of my art, it was almost like I was born and destined to do this,” she added.

However, her brush with non-artistic environ was still to continue. She got married in to a business family of Ahmedabad. Though her new family was deft at art of making money, they had little to dabble in business of art. Despite the fact that they did have a past wherein they had been host to biggest of world-renowned maestros, be it Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Churasia, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Ustad Zakir Hussain and many more, who performed at a venue offered to the city by their grandfather. “The family was very supportive but it was definitely a challenge to push non-artists towards art. My father-in-law who brought me to this bungalow to hand it over and ask me to express my art,” she said.

Aditi believes that there is an artist in every individual and that everyone can paint. “When one is a child, the first things parents give you in your hand is a paint brush and crayons for you to express. Today most  children get gadgets in their hands. It is time for them to experience and explore that there is more feel to life than just technology. We will help you reconnect with your childhood innocence,” she said.

To do this she has set up Art Socio and she feels the city is welcoming and willing to accept new things. “It is a combination of art and socialising. You can come in alone or bring along your loved ones to put your imagination on the canvas. And unlike any other art school, you are your own teacher with little professional help. It is also unlike paint parties which you have to organise. Here you just walk in and we will take care of all your needs, paints, brushes and canvas,” Aditi adds.

You would have two paint rooms and teachers or artists hanging around to help you give shape to your paintings and add colours to your imagination. To make you feel good and satiate the hunger pangs, there is music in the background and snacks to tickle your taste buds. This is definitely very important for the city that loves its food and regales in music. “Art Socio is like a movement abroad, be it New York or Europe.

We hope to make people in the city part of this unique opportunity,” Aditi added.
However, if you are an artist, the gallery is more than willing to showcase your work. For now, it showcases the work by Aditi, which she claimed is inspired by Japanese way of life – Wabi-Sabi. Wabi-Sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

It’s characteristics include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

“In India, if any building becomes old or looks weary, we simply paint them white. Wabi Sabi is an art of enjoying life full of imperfections. My collection here reflects this fluidity of paintings. Art pieces are about earth, nature and human emotions. The painting of colourful tree outside the gallery is a 30 feet writing of emotions.  Even inside the gallery, we have tried to retain glimpses of family living in the house earlier. If there is a tap on the wall, we have kept it too because this place is not about commercialising the space but about taste.”

No wonder, her invite to Art Socio calls one and all to explore and experience the vibrancy of art through the colourful route of “paint-sip-dip.” “You paint on a canvas, sip soothing beverages from us and dip into artistic aura for creating your own masterpiece which you get to take back with you.”