The art of making and sharing at Cholamandal Artists’ Village

Always wanted to know how India’s largest self-supporting community of artists lives? Well, you can this weekend. In a first-of-its-kind event, 30 artists of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village, will throw open the doors of their studios to all who wish to view their work and enter into dialogue with them.

“Open Studios have been popular all through Europe and particularly in Paris, since the eighties,” says French artist, Nadine Tarbouriech, who has been partly living and working in Cholamandal for the last 17 years. Tarbouriech, who has been part of Open Studios in Paris for the last 25 years, says that the concept has been popular from its very start. “People really look forward to attend these events, having direct contact with, and discovering the work of the artists,” she says.

The artists who will be participating in the Open Studio at Cholamandal include SG Vasudev, Shailesh BO, Selvaraj A, Raviram VR, Yannick Cormier and Gopinath P. “There is no curator or organiser as such — each artist decides whether he wants to open the door to his or her studio or not,” says Tarbouriech, adding that the artist is free to plan and structure the nature of that visit.

Gaining access to these studios (and artists) is extremely easy. There is no need to register or book. All you need to do is walk into the Artists’ Village, follow the map and target the studios which have a red and white “Studio Open” sign on the gate. The artists will welcome you and introduce you to their work or answer your questions. They will even help you to reach the next studio, she laughs.

Open Studio events help enrich the arts and create a new generation of art lovers and collectors, believes Tarbouriech, as it draws more people, “curious to discover more about these strange animals called artists”, to it than museums and galleries. And this leads to artists trying their best to share their passion with the visitors, introducing them to their personal research and technique, she adds.

“It is a rich and incredibly different experience to discover the work of an artist directly in his or her studio, among a whole range of tools, pigments, brushes, objects, bizarre collections, books, older works and pre-work sketches.”

Open Studios 2018 will be held at the Cholamandal Artists’ Village, Injambakkam on February 3 and 4 between 11 am and 7 pm.

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