The thought of visiting an art gallery to learn about a complexpiece of art can be intimidating, and often, defeats the purpose of making art accessible to people from different walks oflife.
“When you have an exhibition at a gallery, you have the same 50-60 people who attend. But take it outside to a place where people wouldn’t expect to see pieces of art and you have an entirely new audience,” says Kanchi Mehta curator of OUT / OFF, an art exhibition at Cocoon Fine Rugs in Worli.
Working on the concept of art in an alternative space, Mehta had earlier worked on Did Anyone Notice? — an exhibition that was held last year at the Diesel store in Juhu. “The idea is popular abroad, but hasn’t been experimented on much in India. When you have an exhibition at a gallery, the space is meant for it, but when you hold it at an unlikely venue, the artworks have to adapt to the space,” believes Mehta. She says that at the rug store it wasn’t possible to display anything on the wall, hence they had to exhibit the pieces such that they appeared as a part of the store.
The preparation for this includes choosing the right kind of artists for the space; one of the participating artists, Boshudara Mukherjee’s works included sliced-up painted canvasses, which she then weaves into patterns to give these a sculptural look. Other participating artists at the exhibition include Sameer Tawde, a city-based photographer, abstracts by Sharmistha Ray, Goa-based artist Suhas Shilkar and Dina Goldstein who is a photographer based in Canada.