If you thought art sessions and workshops had to be confined to closed spaces, think again. In a refreshing departure, The Appa Art Festival will be held in Kamshet, a two hour-drive from Mumbai. The idea was conceptualised and curated by graphic designer Karthikeyan Ramachandran in memory of his father artist KN Ramachandran. The five-day event will feature a national-level artist camp, four exhibitions, six workshops and five sound and light design shows.
Mother by Chityal Vinoba Ambaji
“My father passed away last year. I woke up a little late in the day but I wanted the event to coincide with his birthday. So the artists will come in on the April 27 and create works on site with various mediums. By the weekend, we will be able to put them up and people can visit, interact with the artists and participate in the workshops,” says Ramachandran. He adds, “We chose the venue because it is our home and the place where my father spent the last five years of his life. It also has some of his unfinished paintings. It’s lush green, located near a lake and perfect for creators.”
In & Out by K K Segar
What to expect?
The festival will be a showcase of works by artists such as BS Desai, Baburao Nadoni, CV Ambaji, Ganesh Doddamani, Ganesh Somayaji, Gayatri Desai, Naveen Deshpande, Hareesh Malappa, Himanshu Shady, Hari & Deepti of Kulture Shop, Roshni and Prateek Dogri, among others. “I am the fifth child of my father, so it’s a different generation completely. We would discuss art at length and have co created many works too. I wanted the artists to be a mix of traditional and contemporary. So, while you’ll see works in traditional medium, you will also see people who work with light as a medium or digital or even robotics. It is mainly a space for different ideas to come together,” says Ramachandran.
The fest venue at Kamshet
Visitors can also view sketches and paintings by the senior Ramachandran that were created in Kamshet as well as his works from the 1940s and 50s. Prints by the design collective and Merchants of Cool (a company formed by photographer Jatin Kampani) will be on sale as well. Various artists will also paint a 60-foot cutout of KN Ramachandran in the style of vintage film posters, as an ode to his early career as a billboard painter. All the pieces produced at the festival will be displayed on the final day. The evenings will see performances by Mumbai Electronica acts like Bandish Projekt a.k.a Mayur Narvekar, Echofloat a.k.a Jeff Nelson, Func a.k.a Randolph Correia (who will be making an experimental music video), EZ Riser a.k.a Sohail Arora, Chhabb and Kumail Hamid. One can also look forward to South Indian and Maharashtrian food provided at the venue by locals from villages around Kamshet.
Art for the community
“We are located in between six villages and realised that none of the schools here even had a decent drawing class. We will be holding an introductory level workshop for children that we intend to make into a regular feature later,” says Ramachandran, adding that the children will also be invited as audience to the evening programmes to introduce them to all kinds of art.
The five days will culminate with an honouring ceremony where acclaimed artist Vasudeo Kamath from Mumbai will be bestowed the honour of the KN Ramachandran Life Time Achievement Award. “Art procreates when minds co-create. This is my way of saying ‘Thank You’ to my father,” Ramachandran signs off.
From: April 27 to May 1
At: Kamshet, Pune District
Cost: Rs 499 per head
To book tickets Log onto: insider.in