Perhaps because art has to find elbow room even in normal times in a world increasingly governed by commerce, artists have learnt to turn the COVID inflicted situation around in ways that might help keep themselves and their art alive and well. Then there are artistes who reach out to help other artistes. Reach Virasat, a cultural arm of REACH (Rural Entrepreneurship for Art & Cultural Heritage) which holds a hugely attended annual 15 day festival of music, dance and allied arts has launched an Outeach programme to help performing artistes who had no scope to earn during the long months of isolation imposed on them by COVID.
( Virasat Reach Out with TaFMA poster)
‘We hold a programme every Sunday at 7 pm,’ says Vernika Awal of Outreach Virasat. ‘We started this in May and by now we have used the ticket money to help the families of 25 accompanists who are dependent on programmes to earn their living. The established artistes help us by performing for a token fee’, she adds. ‘It is popular, but we need more people to make the most of this opportunity to listen to such renowned musicians. It’s their privilege to enjoy #Ghar baithe Virasat.’
On Oct 4, the Outreach programme will feature the very talented Naviin Gandharv on his uniquely melodious Belabahar instrument. Created by his father, Pt. Babulal Gandharv, the belabahar combines the principles of the violin, the sarangi and the singing voice. Naviin will be accompanied by the Anurag Classical band, Pramod Gudekar on the octopod rythmns and Devanand Gandharva on the keyboards.
Other programmes to come include:
11th Oct- Dr. Anwesha Mahanta-Shatriya dance from Assam.
18th Oct- Saniya Patankar-Hindustani Classical Singer from Pune.
25th October. Dr.Shreeja Chandel-Bharat Natyam.
Here’s the link:
Do tune in this Sunday to Reach Outreach Virasat on Facebook Live if you have read this in time. I assure you the melody of the belebahar will stay ringing in your memory for a long time. And in case you miss it, do tune in next Sunday and the Sundays after that. And while you entertain your senses in the comfort of your home, extend your heart to reach out and help the artistes’ community. Every little bit counts.
A new genre of comic books
Aditya Damle’s online exhibition under the umbrella of Method Art Space titled Deathless, has an immortal as its hero. ‘He’s nameless as yet, ‘ says Damle, ‘he has lived so long, his identity is a blur. For now, the character is called nomad, and his dream is to destroy the universe because he is tired of living.’ The exhibits include single pieces as well as ‘multiple art works put together as one piece; with the panels arranged in a composition, to look like an extract from a story which can be seen in any direction’, the artist explains.
(DeathlesTale of the wandering immortal)
'Deathless’ is Damle’s nod to the eternal nature of the pandemic. However his vision extends beyond both the pandemic and the exhibition... as the 26 frames he has created for his Villian are only the first part of his series of comic books, each dedicated to a character. So there is one that includes a hero to follow.
(Cover of the proposed comic book. Exhibited at exhibition)
Besides Norse, Greek and Indian mythologies that have influenced his work, Damle’s art shows his understanding of pop culture. He admits to being inspired by the works of Lovecraft and Tolkien.
While the exhibits do ring some familiar bells, Damle’s preview of his larger theme of creating the comic book series hints at an original thought that might translate into providing readers who prefer the visual to the written word, with a new universe to explore through its colourfully created inhabitants.
Piqued? Log on to https://themethod.in/pause/ to see the deathless nomad in all his glory.
(Views are personal)