Rejuvenate Your Soul At The Recently Opened Art Village At Karjat

Probably a first for Maharashtra, if not India, this residential Art Village has been created by like minded thinkers and is an ideal getaway for those going crazy in the ‘urban-surrounded-by-gadgets-and-wifi world’.

‘The Earth Without Art Is Just Eh!’  This may just be a play on words, but really… think about it. Can you imagine a world without colours on canvas, notes on the piano, swirling motion, architecture, sculpture and cinema? No Van Gogh? No Michelangelo? No Rembrandt, Renoir, Mozart, Beethoven or Bach!! No Walt Disney or Spielberg, Satyajit Ray or Mani Ratnam… One can go on about the greats, and sigh longingly about the lost chance at becoming one. Or one can drive down to Karjat at the recently opened Art Village, and stay back to rejuvenate your soul.

Probably a first for Maharashtra, if not India, this residential art space created by like minded thinkers is an ideal getaway for those going crazy in the urban-surrounded-by-gadgets-and-wifi world.

Ganga Kadakia, Co-Founder, Art Village, Karjat in conversation with Suhana Bhatia, speaks about what the Art Village is all about and what it has to offer…

Q) What is Art Village really? Where did the idea come from?

Art Village came from a deep longing to have more art in our lives, and more art related activities in and around where we live. Living the life of an artist can be challenging. This initiative was to get more like-minded creative heads who would like to collaborate with other artists from all over the world.

At Art Village we practice Theatre, Pottery, Painting, Writing Film making and all other forms of art. The idea came from meeting so many talented artists, architects and yogis from my travels, to be able to connect regular people to them.

Q) Why art?

Art has an invisible power. It makes people think. The more time one spends with oneself the clearer the mind gets. Isolation and patience are the tools used by artists to know more about the unknown. Art has formed cultures and plays a significant role in world history.

Try removing music, colour, frames, posters and dance, cinema from your lives. It makes no sense. Art Is the invisible oxygen that we breathe but don’t even know it.

Q) Many people find art a spiritual journey, which also seems the underlying theme of Art Village. What is your perspective?

Art has the power to free people of borders. To connect the disconnected with themselves. Art is used in many psychological practices to release the subconscious mind of its fears. Art is one of the most therapeutic activities practiced for children world over.

Sometimes artists are unable to channelize this energy and burn themselves too fast. With the right balance of mind and body, an artist can strive to live and enjoy the creative journey until the end.

Q) Residential art spaces and home-stays have been quite popular, especially in Europe. How similar or different is Art Village?

It is very similar, and yet very distinct. The campus dedicates certain parts of the year to students and children. Like the summer months are reserved for schools and the mid terms when collages can send students for programs, are reserved for students.

We have certain months which are favored for certain arts. Like, we cannot conduct earth building & pottery in the rains. Art village having international faculty, also dedicates certain months for its visiting faculty like the month of February is for the Yantra Mandala by artist Pieter Weltevrede, and November if for Yogi Ganga Puri Rox.The essence of Art Village is that it has a working energy.

Q) What kind of art forms can one explore while staying here? Can non artists participate or sign up?

We offer Pottery, Theatre, Earth Building, Trekking, Painting, Photography, Yoga, Print Making and many more forms of art. Art Village is open to all. Artists can book the place to create large works, we have a mentorship program, and art residencies. Non-artists can sign up for workshops and grow their knowledge about art and interact with practicing artists.

Q) Who are the artists associated with Art Village?

At Art village we have artists from all walks of life. Kiran Vaghela is the founder member and architect for Art Village. He ranks in India’s top 60 Architects and individuals to influence the way people think. Vinita Muni is the Outdoor head, Vini is one of the first Indian women to have climbed the Mount Everest. The 8th Rimpoche of Bhutan Paro district is a member and a faculty head. We lovingly call him ‘Guruji’. We have painters Dilip Chobisa, Savia Mahajan, Ganga Kadakia and Hitesh Pankar. Pottery and Ceramists Anupama Panth, Khushboo Madnani and Ms. Pratima Vaidya. We have Photographer and Cinematographer Prem Sagar who is a gold medalists from London.
Textile designer and print maker Harmeet Ghumman from London collage of printing. Artist Pieter Weltevrede who teaches how to paint on silk. Our Theatre head is Maneesh Verma .
There are many more yogi’s, film makers and writers who make the core team at art village.I am mentioning only a few here….

Q) What are the upcoming workshops?

We have the Yantra and Mandala festival coming up on the 11th and 12th of Feb. March we have Pottery. Starting April up to June we have our summer camps. Besides these set workshops we have corporate camps that we host through the year. Office getaways and private bookings.

Q) Have you considered setting up more such vistas in India?

Not yet, We have a log way to go. But yes, why not in the future.

Q) What is your long term dream and vision for Art Village?

So the plan is to phase it out over a span of 5 years. The first year we have workshops and private camps for corporates, students and collages, and also we have the Earth Stay program where one can come and experience what its like to live in an earth built campus.

In the 2nd year we shall begin to set up studios where artists can work. We set up individual units for carpentry, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture etc. In the 3rd year we will begin to host large art based festivals and artist collaborations. By the 4th and 5th year we aim to have 2 nights 3 days festivals where one may enjoy Art, Music, Live Performances, Art Markets and Outdoors together with Nature.

For those who’d like to get a glimpse: Try the

 Yantra & Mandala Workshop by Pieter Weltevrede
When – February 11-12, 2017
Who – Anyone can sign-up, you do not require any art background!


About the Author

Suhana Bhatia
Suhana Bhatia
Features Editor