Jessica Meuninck Ganger, from Wisconsin, USA and Marjan Cornelius from Holland share a common love. Both are artists in residence at Banyan Hearts studio, and their interactions with local artists, is a learning experience for everyone.
The studio itself is a beehive of art-centric activity. Some of the artists are involved with print making, while others are engaged in serious discussions on art and expression.
It is interesting to find that the zinc plate which Marjan will use to take an etching print is covered with a landscape inspired by her observation of the lush green ambience of Banyan Hearts studio. She is also working on her etching plate both here as well as at print maker Sumanto Choudhary’s studio.
Visibly humbled by the warm welcome and inclusive courtesy of the local artists she says, “A lot of artists like to work in private and not share their work process, but in Hyderabad I feel that they are open to sharing their work and ideas.”
This is her seventh visit to the city and since her first association with eminent local artist Laxma Goud in the 1970s she has worked with him several times.
Marjan worked as an art teacher for a long time and has exhibited her works in many places overseas. Her figurative works subsume excerpts from her immediate surroundings rendered in a stylistically rich manner. Her artistic oeuvre is based on a strong study and knowledge of realistic drawing. With themes oscillating between still life, landscape and life studies, each of her works is infused with a lively streak.
Jessica, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, is equally passionate about her work, and is here with two of her students, Geo Rutherford and Afrin Azad. Sharing details on the concepts of her current work she explains, “My work has emerged from an ongoing practice of charting the Milwaukee city scape through walks with students, friends, and community members. Walking is not a solitary activity for this purpose, but rather a means to gather, observe and exchange ideas of place, the environment and their impact on the collective identity of communities.”
She believes that travelling and absorbing new experiences enhances an artist’s perspective and strengths. This time she has travelled to India to exhibit in a group show at Chennai titled, ‘Hanji translated’ comprising works of artists from India, Korea and the USA on ‘hanji’ (Korean paper).
“Since I have admired the work of Chippa Sudhakar, (founder-Director, Banyan Hearts) for many years I wanted to visit him and also work here along with my students,” she explains.
There is another prominent aspect of her visit to Hyderabad, her rendezvous with the students of JNAFAU and local artists. “I demonstrated the intricacies of the traditional Korean print making technique ‘Takbon’ to the fine arts students. During my visit, I also hope to learn about the unique Indian traditions and practices of printmaking and paper making, learn from master artisans and share the techniques, ideas, values, and cultural views about art and printmaking. Eventually, I look forward to sharing my newly gained knowledge and stories of India back with my students in the US,” she concludes....