United by art!

Nirmal Raja and Santosh Sakhinala came together to collaborate and curated an art show titled Confluence'.

Truly defining the phrase, ‘Art has no boundaries’, Nirmal Raja and Santosh Sakhinala, who live in two different parts of the world, came together to collaborate and curated an art show titled ‘Confluence’ at Nehru Arts Gallery

With an intention to showcase the works of her colleagues and her own in India, Nirmal Raja approached Santosh Sakhinala via a common friend and fellow artist Sudhakar Chippa. Initially brainstorming over emails about how to bring about cohesiveness with such diverse artists, the idea of Confluence evolved. “Keeping the theme open to possible connections and bringing these people together was at the heart of this endeavour,” she says.

Apart from that, the main aim was to juxtapose the works of the two groups. She tells, “In some places, we installed framed 2D next to 3D installations and in others we installed the same media next to each other but made by different artists, who did not know each other.” On the whole, the idea was to create an experience that formed connections beyond the geographical backgrounds of the artists and possibly invoke a sense of common creative spirit.

Personally for her, life seems to have come full circle. “This city first kindled my creative interest. In some way, watching the artists interact with each other gave me immense pleasure. It felt as if my two worlds have come together in order to create something beautiful and meaningful,” she says.

The Indian connect
A research scholar from Centre for Studies in Social Science (CSSS), Santosh Sakhinala, debuted as a curator with Confluence. “I did not plan to become a curator. But when the opportunity came along, I decided to take it.”

Initially, the plan was to showcase only the works of the 10 artists from Wisconsin, but then he came up with the idea of bringing onboard another 10 artists from India. But selecting the right artists was his first big test. “We were following a certain pattern based on the practices of the artists. The American artists used their own materials in a particular way, so we were looking for Indian artists who were also exploring different materials. The idea was to blend their works seamlessly and maintain a certain flow, which was our guiding principle.”

As the confluence was happening at an art college, the biggest benefactors from this confluence were the students, he says. “Students had a great learning opportunity as artists from both groups discussed the thought process behind their work.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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