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Arts, Aesthetics & Creativity

The back end work to set up NaVaRaSa has been in progress since Aug 2009 and those were the days of building partnerships with various experts, designing the interiors, logo and the publicity material etc. While in the process, I met Shwetal, to work on an artistic name board at her studio. I got to see her in action, while she was working on her copper enameling pieces and we struck an instant rapport. I had wanted a specific logo designed, and hadnt been able to communicate what I wanted to some other logo designers and it looked like Shwetal was the person to do it. And hence the NaVaRaSa logo designed by Shwetal came to be! It was the result of brainstorming over many equally attractive options that she had designed. During these brainstorming sessions, we spoke of a partnership for arts & crafts workshops at NaVaRaSa. Very interestingly, both of us wanted something different from the run-of-the-mill classes which limit teaching to the techniques used and creation of huge number of art/craft work which probably collects dust later. She very clearly wanted to go beyond that, to help the individual explore one’s own creativity and so was born the workshop on ‘Arts, Aesthetics & Creativity’!

The workshop is slated to begin mid January 2010. We are open to weekday and weekend sessions based on the slot availability and the majority participant availability.

Course outline: Art, aesthetics and creativity will be explored by understanding and questioning perception, observation and information. The course curriculum as planned right now will be divided into 6 days. Each day would consist of a session of practical exercises and a session of debates and discussions. The practical exercises will be sensorial (understanding our senses and exploring through sound, light, smell) and practical, where one will be working with clay, photography, painting, etc. The debates and discussions will be based on the focal point of the day. Though this is the plan, there will be room for flexibility in the program as the group or individual might want to dwell longer on certain topics and explorations and should feel free to do so.

Requirement: Knowledge of arts is not required. “ Creativity” as commonly understood is not a requirement.
Age group: 16 and beyond
Price: Rs 4000/- inclusive of the basic material.
More details will be shared when the participant comes over for registration.

Q & A with Shwetal on why this workshop and what are we trying to do here:

Q: “Art, Aesthetics and Creativity”. Why did you think of such a course? Is there a need for such a course?
” I have been approached many times to take classes to teach “art” eg clay work, painting, copper enameling, and I have declined. This is is because I feel imparting a technique is not art. A technique can be learnt though the internet today, you tube, etc. What happens after you know technique is the important question. How does one push one’s limits, or judge one’s work? How does an observer differentiate between a good work and a not so good work? What can be the parameters? When is the thought more valuable than technique? And what is the right balance? Please understand that I am not undermining the need to learn a technique well. Both aspects are equally important. I just feel that is it not possible to give Art, aesthetics and creativity enough time and importance during a short technical course. And so I worked out a separate course.

We as Indians know very little of our vast history of arts and crafts. And I believe we can be truly proud and part of our culture if we have the right understanding about it.

Q: Can “Art, Aesthetics and Creativity” be taught?
A: No, but it can be understood and felt and so in this course we will try and not teach but create opportunities to learn. Everyday the participants will take part in debates, discussions and interactive exercises. The interactive exercises will have material explorations and sensorial activities.

Q: Who do you think should take this course?
Any body who is curious and keen. There is no need for any knowledge or training in art, if that is what you are asking. But as a participant you will be expected to participate, think and be curious. 

Q: What would one gain by this course?
It will open up one’s creative channels. We very easily bracket people as creative or not creative, while in reality everyone is creative, its just that some have explored their creativity some have not.

Also if there is someone who has been working in a particular art form, they can find new ways to push their limits. At a very basic level, one might become more discerning towards ones likes and dislikes by understanding what is social conditioning and what is personal choice.  Another example is, when you go to a craft mela or to buy a work of art and you don’t know what is the right price to pay for a piece, right? Well going forward one may be able to take more informed and comfortable decisions 🙂

We need to understand our heritage in craft and art not to preserve it but to propel ourselves forward with that knowledge. This course will sow the seed of curiosity for the Arts in our country and beyond

Q: Can I learn this subject on my own through books and internet?
Yes. One can get “Information”on this subject from books, internet, etc. And that is exactly why this workshop will not be about information but about knowledge and tacit understanding

Q: Will I be able to create my “ART” after this show?
A: You can even now, without the course!! The course is as much to understand the artist within you as it is to understand the works and minds of great artists.

Q: Will I be making things (Artworks?) during the course which I can take home?
This is how I have planned the workshop. Each sessions will be divided into two parts, one which has discussions and debates and one which has hands on practical exercises and explorations. These exercises will be sensorial and practical so the participants will be working with clay, will be doing photography, painting, etc. One understands more by doing than though words, so the outcome of there exercises will be there to take home and also to remain with one as visual stimulants.

Q: Will I be assessed? How?
That will be part of the course structure and will be a pleasant and challenging personal experience.

Q: Is there a plan to continue the interaction with NaVaRaSa/Shwetal once I am done with the course?
Once a participant is part of the NaVaRaSa community, they remain to be part of it and are most welcome to get back. Participants will continue to get information from NaVaRaSa about the latest. Any specific and further guidance, can be worked out on a case-to-case basis.

– Shridevi on a Q & A with Shwetal.

Shwetal has created the NaVaRaSa logo and also the glass mosaic artwork of the logo that you see at the entrance our our building!
Shwetal is a Furniture Designer and sculptor by qualification. She has a keen interest in fine ancient and modern crafts and is a perennial student of art and design. Her goal is “creative pursuit”. Kindly see our partners page for more information.

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