Artcore International Residency: Winter Narratives

Deadline: 10/11/2019  |  Published: 22/10/2019  |  City: Vadodara  |  Country: India  |  Ruchita Shaikh

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Artcore is organizing a Residency project titled Winter Narratives, for artists in both the UK & Vadodara, India, and will include a selection of 7 artists, 2 from the East Midlands and 5 from within India.

The Residency will be held at a picturesque location in the Mahi River ravines on the outskirts of Vadodara city, from December 7 to 21, 2019. The 2-week artist’ Residency will introduce India and its contemporary art world to the British artists and especially the strength of the Narrative in art produced especially by the artists from the Baroda School of Art (the Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University).

Winter Narratives will include 5 artists from India who especially work in the Narrative as the focus of their work. While the British artists can create works that respond to their experience of India (or even according to their own interests), the major takeaway from this Residency will be an interactive and proactive discussion between ALL the artists as to the role of the Narrative in Contemporary art and the traditions of the narrative in both European and Indian art.

The Residency and Artist Camp will be held in the beautiful, green surroundings of the Highness farm in Aampad village, on the outskirts of the Baroda City; with a lot of birds and natural beauty. December is also a very pleasant time to visit India when the weather is cool. It’s a wonderful time and as artists, you will not just have a great ‘visual’ time but can join in the festive period leading up to Christmas.

About Artcore:

Artcore is a visual arts charity working within communities locally, nationally and internationally. It endeavors to operate as a cultural hub; fueling active engagement for a diverse range of communities in Derby, East Midlands and beyond. Artcore’s long-term objective is to use arts and crafts as a vehicle to strengthen community cohesion, educate, raise awareness and provide a platform for development. Through its work it is committed to bringing change into the lives of people of all ages, abilities, cultural and ethnic backgrounds through creative activities. The focus is the provision of a contemporary, innovative and quality service through the four core areas: ‘art in education and learning’, ‘art in modern culture’, ‘art in health and well-being’, and ‘art in the community’. Artcore supports participants as they develop their skills in a range of visual art mediums and techniques. As well as developing transferable skills such as time keeping, organisation, planning and communication. Artcore also provides a platform to implement the learning through volunteering and work experience opportunities in its different projects.

Baroda and Artists:

It is believed that the city is home to more than 400 artists, many of whom are amongst the most important contemporary Indian artists, known internationally. The Faculty of Fine Arts at the M S University of Baroda (the local art school) is one of the most well-known modern art schools in India. It teaches Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture and Ceramics, Art History & Aesthetics, Museology, and Applied Arts. Please do refer to the book, Contemporary Art in Baroda, that is in the Artcore library. It would be a good idea if the UK artists can give an illustrated talk about their work at the Faculty of Fine Arts (art school) in Baroda. That will be managed by Artcore.

Artcore believes that by becoming a part of an Artists’ Camp in Baroda, the British artists’ participation in the Indian Art Residency would be far more meaningful in their own development as artists and in the experience they can garner from their travel to a country outside of the UK and Europe. They would be able to interact with the local artists during the tenure of the Camp, form friendships, and be introduced to larger circles of artists in the process. They would also be able to decide how they would like to spend the third week of their Indian Art Residency Programme – travelling within or outside of Gujarat, visiting Art Fairs or any other good Art event being organized in India at that point of time, or just be a regular tourist and visit places of historical interest. 

About Baroda (Vadodara):

Today’s Vadodara, the former capital of the princely Gaekwad State, has a long and tumultuous history. The name “Vadodara” has been derived from the profusion of Banyan or “Vad” trees in the area – a settlement in the embrace of Vad trees. The city has been marked by the presence of the Gujarat Sultanate rulers, the Moghuls, the Maratha Gaekwads and the British, who have left their imprints on the architectural and cultural development of the city, sinking in deep roots like the Banyan Tree itself and bravely withstanding the onslaught of time.

The past is always interesting and the past of a princely state is often intriguing as well. The earliest settlements of what is present-day Vadodara date back to more than 2000 years. This settlement was then called Ankotakka (present-day Akota area) that developed as a riverine settlement on the banks of the Vishwamitri river (3rd BC to 500 AD). Ankotakka grew up to the Bhimnath temple complex in Sayaji Gunj. Vatapatraka developed as its eastern suburb (500-900 AD) on a higher elevation, which is present-day Kothi area. Archeological excavations at Akota which threw up the magnificent horde of what came to be classified as the Akota Bronzes (presently in the Baroda Museum) are irrefutable evidence of this theory. Frequent flooding of the Vishwamitri, which flows close to Akota, shrank the importance of Ankotakka, giving rise to Vatapadraka whose elevation became its strength. Vatapadraka grew to be a large urban agglomeration with the elevated Kothi area at its centre.

When Gujarat was taken over by the Gujarat Sultanate rulers, and Mehmud Begda shifted the capital from Ahmedabad to Champaner, Vatapadraka village, on the outskirts of the vast Champaner, was strategically seen as in the line of its defense from invaders in the south. This led to the building of Killa-e-Daulatabad (about 1511, which makes 2017 the city’s 506th anniversary year), the walled city with Mandvi pavilion at its centre and the four Darwazas – Leheripura Gate, Champaner Gate, Panigate, Gendigate – linked by a strong, high Wall. Daulatabad was built by Sultan Muzaffar, the son of Mehmud Begda who had established Champaner as the capital of Gujarat in 1482. Daulatabad developed away from Vatapadraka, and as a fortified ‘walled’ city with the blessings of the powerful Gujarat Sultanate, attracted people who made it their home.

The Marathas annexed the region in 1720. Because of the clusters of the vast, huge and hoary banyan trees in the area, the Gaekwads named the place ‘Badode’ which in Marathi language meant a banyan cluster. (Incidentally, Vadodara also had a vast number of sandalwood trees which had led to it once being called Chandanvati! That’s another story, though!) Pilajirao and Damajirao Gaekwad are believed to have stayed for a while at the Bhadra Palace, the Muslim Governor’s citadel outside the Panigate, before they moved to what is now the Sayaji School in Mandvi (near the Tankshal) while their own palace, the Sarkarwada, was being built near Mandvi pavilion. The remnants of Sarkarwada, once a beautiful wooden Maratha wada, still exist, while the wondrous Nazar Baug Palace, built in the European Neo-Classical tradition by the now wealthy Gaekwads just behind the Sarkarwada, has unfortunately bitten the dust.

In the meanwhile, the British had already come to Badode (1802). They anglicized it to ‘Baroda’. (In Hindi, it became Badauda and the local Gujaratis called it Vadodara.) The first British Residency and Military Contingent was stationed within the walls of Kothi, and the influence of European architecture can be seen in the design of the present Kothi Kacheri and the Records Tower complex opposite it. By 1835, however, the Residency moved away from Kothi to the northwest of the city (present-day M S University’s office complex opposite the Polytechnic). This was a segregated settlement with a cantonment -- the Residency Bungalow in the Neo-Classical style, surrounded by the Camp, which is what the present Fatehgunj area also came to be known as. The Railway chugged into Baroda in 1859 and a Civil station came up between the British settlement and Badoda ‘city’. It quietly laid the foundation to modern industrialization.

The period 1860 to 1940 was an epoch of unprecedented and phenomenal development of Vadodara. Sayajirao III, who led this transformation, was crowned the Maharaja in 1875. The Baroda College building (Faculty of Arts) was planned along the road to the Station (1879), and the vast Kamati Baug (renamed Sayaji Baug) along the road to the Camp. Sir T Madhav Rao, one of the most dynamic Dewans that Baroda State had, engaged Robert Chisholm for the design of institutional buildings in 1880. In 1886, the first institutional building designed by Chisholm was the Anglo-Vernacular School for Boys (presently the Faculty of Performing Arts/Music College). Between 1885-90, Ajwa, the artificial water reservoir was created 16 miles away with a filtration plant halfway at Nimeta as a part of the comprehensive waterworks scheme to ensure safe drinking water for Vadodara’s citizens. Nyaya Mandir, with a legal system of justice, was designed and built between 1892-96. The fabulous Laxmi Vilas, the new palace designed away from the hustle and bustle of the city, amidst rolling meadows and woods in the tradition of European royal estates, continues to be home to the present Gaekwad family.

Today, Vadodara (renamed thus in the 1970s) is a cosmopolitan, tier-two city, also selected to be a ‘Smart City’ from a bunch of fast-growing cities by the Indian Government. Over the last so many centuries, the city has seen many ups and downs, but unlike any other city anywhere in the world, it has a strange ability to hold on to its residents and continuously gather those wandering away again and again into its fold! Once a Barodian, always a Barodian!

Connectivity:

Vadodara is well-connected by trains to all parts of India. Both Mumbai (in the south) and Delhi (in the north) are an overnight journey away. Vadodara is also connected to Delhi and Mumbai by air

Residency objectives:

  • Artists with a commitment to developing their practice, who seek a dialogue and engagement with Baroda artists community and the wider Indian Contemporary Arts and Cultural Sector (artists, studios, producers, galleries, venues and festivals).
  • Artists with an interest in how sharing practices and collaborative working can inform the development of their work and how this residency will benefit their practice.
  • Artists who aim to embrace the ways in which cultural experiences will inform further development of their own work. The residency will take place in Baroda, India.

The programme includes the following benefits:

  • Support international travel for UK artists (Heathrow-Vadodara-back)
  • Boarding and lodging of TWO artists from 07/12 to 21/12/2019
  • Participation Art Camp
  • Project materials provided
  • Artist blog
  • Artist talks
  • A curator to work with
  • E Catalogue
  • Opportunity to deliver workshops with local artists
  • Publicity and marketing support

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
We welcome applications from UK artists working in any discipline to apply to the International Residency.
When is the deadline?
Midnight 10/11/2019.
Are there expenses for artists?
Artcore will support international travel (London Heathrow -Vadodara-back), boarding and lodging of the two artists from December 7th to 21st, 2019, as well as their participation in the art camp with all art materials. In exchange, all artists will offer one artwork to Artcore (size of work to be decided; it could be one large or two medium/small size works as per the style of the artist). From December 21 onwards, the artists will be on their own and will fund their own travel and stay in India. The responsibility for booking the air tickets from place of residence (in UK) to Vadodara, India, and back will be of Artcore. Artcore will pay for the tickets of the 2 artists. It would be preferable for all artists to travel together for logistics management. The responsibility for applying and paying for the Indian visas will be that of the artists’. Artcore will help with the paperwork. The artists will also purchase medical insurance to cover their stay from December 7 till date of departure.
When are the residency dates?
07/12/2019 to 21/12/2019
Residency Timetable Itinerary:
December 7th (Saturday): Departure from UK
December 8th (Sunday): Arrival in Baroda and settling down
December 9th (Monday) to 18th (Wednesday): Participation in the Artist Camp
December 20th (Friday): Display and celebrations
December 21st (Saturday): Depart for UK (flexible, depending on travel plans for each artist)
How do you decide on proposals?
A selection panel will evaluate each artist project based on the following criteria:
Innovation and originality
The quality and creativity of the project
The coherence of the project and its relevance within the career of the candidate
The viability of the project and how suitable the International Residency media and work spaces are for
the proposed project.
The capacity to create channels for artistic activity between different contexts and to search for reciprocity
between UK and India.
The capacity and enthusiasm to engage with Baroda and beyond communities of artists, art practitioners,
curators and critics.
Interest in donating a selection of the artworks produced during the residency to be a part of Artcore's collection.
What happens if my proposal is shortlisted?
Selected artists will be interviewed on 12/11/2019. Interviews will take place at Artcore, Derby, UK.

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