Interactive art space set to open doors in Kolkata

The Kolkata Centre for Creativity

Kolkata now has an art stop that promises a new experience for even the not so arty. The Kolkata Centre for Creativity, a six-storey building across 70,000sq ft off EM Bypass in Anandapur, opened its doors on Wednesday. “This is not a museum. We are looking at a multi-dimensional interactive art space,” said architect Pinakin Patel, Creative Director, Kolkata Centre for Creativity, promoted by the Kolkata- headquartered Emami Group. The centre houses prehistoric Greek amphoras (jars with vertical handles used to store food and wine), Belgian tapestries (where photographs of real-life models have been transformed on a digital loom) and bowls styled on tribal art, among other objects.

Apart from exhibition galleries, the centre has an amphitheatre, a conservation studio, a restaurant and a gift shop. It also has a maker’s studio where budding artists can experiment with designs using 3D printers and laser cutters. “Apart from regular exhibitions by artists of national and international repute, this centre will provide a resource base for budding artists. The centre should be a landmark for the city,” said Richa Agarwal, Executive Director, Kolkata Centre for Creativity. Metro walked through the six floors of the centre days before it is going to be unveiled. A sneak peek:

Disobedience – The corridor leading to the ground-floor gallery is a symbol of order and serenity. The artwork in the corridor is titled Disobedience. Designed by Greek artist Nassia Inglessis, it was being readied when this newspaper visited the art space. Once ready, the installation will be like a tunnel through which visitors will walk to enter the ground-floor gallery. Made of steel and recycled plastic, the sides of the 17-meter-long tunnel will move as visitors walk along it. “The kinetic installation evokes the myths of Icarus, Antigone and Prometheus and challenges the very static understanding of architecture,” said Inglessis, who displayed the installation at the recently concluded London Design Biennale- 2018.

Opening act – The ground-floor has a 10,000sq ft gallery to host exhibitions. A highlight of the inauguration will be a solo exhibition of works of the late Dashrath Patel. Curated by Pinakin Patel, the late artist’s friend, the exhibition is called School. Patel, who died in 2010 aged 83, was a sculptor, designer, painter, ceramicist, collage maker and photographer. The exhibition will trace his artistic journey across mediums and types from the 1930s to 2000. A whole body of his work — drawings, ceramics, photographs and collages — will be on display. “Dashrath trained an entire generation of designers. His art was responsive to Indian needs. He was as multi-disciplinary as this centre aspires to be,” said Patel.

Desi art – The second floor is dedicated to Indian handicraft. There are Bidri vases and discs. Bidri art is said to have originated in the 14th century in the Bidar region of Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The craftsmen make a dark metal alloy of zinc, lead and copper, which is inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver. The second floor also has a gift shop offering curated and designed merchandise such as the shell of a pumpkin painted in the style of Gond tribal art that can serve as a bowl.

Amphitheatre – The first floor has a sprawling amphitheatre with wooden galleries that look straight out of a college campus. The architecture of the theatre allows sunlight to play peek-a-boo with the galleries. “This place is for casual interactions and creative contemplation. It also adapts as a platform for baithaks and other cultural events,” said Patel.

Source: The Telegraph

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