THE creative and artistic energy was hard to miss, as the Open Hand Art Studios finally opened doors this week on the 122nd birth anniversary of Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret. Housed in the research block of the Le Corbusier Centre, a building of historic and architectural value to the city, which was designed by Jeanneret, the studios are a space artists can claim to be their own. From painting to print-making, clay modeling to sculpture, the studios — the effort of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, the Le Corbusier Centre and the Administration — offer space, equipment and materials to artists to work, collaborate, and exhibit.
In sync with the philosophy and premise of the studios, which strive to promote artistic endeavours, students of the Government College of Art and Chandigarh College of Architecture transformed the green space of the Le Corbusier Centre with installations in varied materials with the show titled, ‘Aesthetics: A reflection on beauty, of line, shape and form’, which is open to the public.
The display is a result of a workshop inspired by Jeanneret’s varied work in the city, from a vibrantly painted auto-rickshaw which depicts elements drawn from Jeanneret’s style of architecture, to other paintings and sculptures. Painted by Komal Mathur and Tarundeep Kaur, final-year students from the Government College of Art, the two chose the auto-rickshaw because the lay person can relate to it and because it is durable and weather friendly. “Due to the humdrum of life, many don’t interact with art easily and people don’t visit art galleries very often. Installations like these are engaging for them,” say the young artists. There are also two puppets placed inside the auto-rickshaw. “One in the front is me and in the passenger’s seat is Tarundeep,” says Mathur.
An installation titled, Intangible, was created by students of the Government College of Art. The installation comprises an individual poring over a painting. In the sculpture, the monotony of black and white is broken by patterns incorporated into the installation’s landscape. A rhythm of lines and forms creates a visual impact, playfully incorporating the meaning of life.
Another student Abhishek Rathi has created an installation using Jeanneret’s principles of design. The all-white installation consists of a design of a chair, a spiral staircase, and a structure of a building, which when looked at from an angle appears like a chair. “The process included researching about the idea, making a design and transforming that design into 3D. For instance, Chandigarh is very homogenous; there are roundabouts and roads in the city that I have depicted in the model of the building through a criss-cross pattern in the installation. I tried to think about what is unique about the city and started from scratch,” explains Rathi, a final-year student of applied arts at the Government College of Art, who took 64 hours to complete the installation.
Inside the painting studio, city-based painter Aradhana Tandon is immersed in her new work, “I am glad that Chandigarh finally has a place for artists, and it is an opportunity for us to interact with one another and work with different mediums,”
Tracing his journey of art from Khanna, Bhattian to the Government College of Art on canvas is Gurpreet Singh. Titled My First Canvas, the painting, says Singh shows how he has reached where he is today. “Starting from drawing on the walls of my home in my village to learning, discovering, and pursuing art in the city, against all odds, has been quite an experience. To have a place like this is important, as we have both space and material provided to us. Many of us don’t have the money to buy provisions to paint,” says Singh, who is pursuing a Master’s in applied arts from the Government College of Art.