Yellow is the color of love of madness and of deviousness… Jetpur is yellow and orange and pink, dark deep pink, blood pink, deep intense pink: So pink !!! So pink!!!
In Jetpur one cannot be alone, one is never alone, one is always with someone and someone else around us both. And people around you and one around people and people and one and you and people and people.
I have been taking pictures. …I feel impossible things to describe…
What can I do?
I need time…but I don’t have much. I need energy and I don’t have patience … I feel love but I cannot open…I must find another way of making …make what? and what to make?
These children. These women. How exotic to me are they?
I don’t know how to behave. Where to go with this “frames” that I now possess…when did exoticism began?
It’s the people and their habits that interest me – fact. They have strong shining eyes and light brown skin, harsh like an oak tree. Their body language is both incredible sensible and abrupt. They are joyful, crazy colorful, beautiful and old. Even if looking so fragile, feels that they are going to live forever…
They will touch you all the way… And that’s it…
The word private and public doesn’t exist there at all.
While we were approaching Jetpur village and I was watching through the bus window, I felt that something very special will happen here. And I was right.
Even though at the beginning, when I have seen all local women, with their faces covered and it seemed that it will be not be easy to get closer to the locals daily life, we had the most amazing welcome ceremony. The villagers kept us busy every day with new events: we have visited several primary schools, participated and danced with villagers in the different dance contests, watched boys cricket match etc. It was really special that everyone was so welcoming us and inviting to their houses.
I had a great chance to be a participant in Sowing seeds 2013 in Jetpur village and I am really thankful for all organizers and assistants for the help.
The seed was planted in me of a soft revolution that aims to the development of the potential produced from the encounter with the most enlightened part of an ancient tradition, and, moreover, with a group of artists and curators operating within the most contemporary avant-gardes.
The familiar and the alien hybridize each other in order to create a new species, one that is stronger and more fruitful.
I carry inside me the warmth that will help it germinate.
The time spent at the foundation was overwhelming and unforgettable. They are doing a great job by organizing residencies at the small villages in Rajasthan .This gives an artist a chance to look at different aspects of village life so closely. I think, that’s what makes the foundation unique.
I could never imagine such a warm and wonderful welcome .The gathering and curiosity of the entire village was such, as if, some aliens have come on earth .The experience couldn’t be expressed in words.
Each and every moment spent at the foundation will be remembered always. The welcoming nature of the villagers, having food at their houses, children’s following you everywhere, the kitchen staff -our new musicians, all of them were so cooperative and caring.
Also not to forget the amazing artists/people I meet during the residency. I would like to thank every member of the foundation and Jetpur village for all their love, care and support.
When setting off to Sowing Seeds, I sought an understanding of layered cultural perspectives. I received this and more. The Kaman Art Foundation created a supportive community of artists and through the structure of the residency, introduced us to the vibrant character of Jetpur villagers. Working with the community youth, allowed me to break boundaries within my artistic practice and focus further on how I rely on the language of visual art and performance to connect to my audience. As a Non-Hindi speaker unable to rely on spoken language to clarify my works’ intent, I experimented with creative gesture, image, and form to communicate. Maybe information got lost in translation when my five-part installation was completed. Or maybe, like poetry, each translation of the spaces made the experience richer. Either way, my experience with Jetpur villagers and everyone who organized the Sowing Seeds residency was spirited, inspiring, and rewarding.
My eyes met looks filled with sincerity
Treated like a friend
I shared, received
I saw, heard
I discovered, learned
Due to an environment, conducive surroundings, where so much positive energy was united to achieve a common goal.
I feel great to declare that my experience in sowing seeds was very good. This was my first time to work with artist and I learnt lots of thing. In whole residency program,I experienced very professional and artistic way of working. I am also feeling very proud that I was also a volunteer in whole program.
I would like to thank to kaman art foundation for invited me.
Great Job and Best wishes
I have always wanted to visit India a country of ancient culture. And it happened. It happened in the best way. I visit India and met many artists.
I never forget the native people with their desire to learn something new.
With their willingness to help with whatever they can and their desire to participate in what is done. Their dances and their ability to have fun.
I met artists who are professionals at what they do. I learned a lot from them.
Two weeks were less time for my stay in India. In the future I hope to visit India again.
This art camp has been one of the best avenues for me to interact with my fellow colleagues. The camp provided me the necessary atmosphere of intellectual exchange and enhanced my conceptual framework. It helped me to venture into a different culture and come out of a lack of inspiration through placing myself into a new geographical location.
Be it the interaction with the locals about their life and challenges they face or the formal and informal interaction with my fellow artists. This in a way has helped me understand various aspects of various strata’s of life. The experience of working at Sowing Seeds has helped me create a very sensitive work regarding today’s environmental hazards. On the whole Sowing Seeds has enriched me conceptually, intellectually and also helped me understand myself in a much better way.
It was one of the most enriching residencies for me. Moment of self discovery and realization as I was in the land of my ancestors and could feel and trace every bit of the effect of the soil which was running through my veins and manifesting itself in the form of habits, tastes and mannerisms. So, I felt more and more drawn to discovering to the fullest, everything that existed in that place, on that soil.
14 days of power packed action! Great boost in energy. Change in place was re-juvinating. Just like some kind of therapy. There was the added adrenalin rush of what was going to become and be-fold.
There was just so much to learn and absorb. I could see the reverberations of life, detail and care in the creation of smallest of things such as a dori (thread). Something insignificant and at the same time so important, like the thread of relationships, of the yound and the old, that people share in living together, how beautiful it can become, with just a little care and attention……..
The people were just wonderful, so co-operative, eager and inviting, because of which we could communicate even without fully understanding the language of the other. They were responsible for all that we could create, understand and share…for “The singer alone does not make a song, there has to be someone who hears: One man opens his throat to sing, the other sings in his mind.” -Rabindranath Tagore
Hats off to the effort of the people who initiated such a dialogue between the urban and the rural, and to those whose hearts and minds were always open to sharing the joy of having met, learnt and lived together for some moments in this lifetime. Gelavas, ek khoobsurat yaad, jeevan ki kahaani ka ek adhyaya. (gelavas, a wonderful memory, a chapter in the story of life..
The Sowing Seeds AIR experience stretches high into the cold and desert clear star filled nights – most memorable! The idea of implanting 15 international artists, all from different cultures, working in various mediums and with a range of professional experience into Gelawas – a remote rural village in Rajasthan India sounded temptingly wild! One of the many successes of the AIR was the cross collaborations between artists and the site: an arid landscape steeped in village traditions and radiant personalities. Another was the chance to share artistic practice with fellow artists, the intimate hands on – we are sharing food, power cuts, tents and makeshift toilets approach was enough to bring everyone into the fold and make this short time feel like an aging forest of rich, magical encounters. I was truly inspired by the culture of dance in Gelawas; the vitality of the young woman was inspirational and in equal measures the talent shown by male performers was enough to spark an insistent idea that I must find a way to involve local dance in my project… Dance and a sacred cow! Perhaps a more personal success, highlighted by an inner smile of self reflection, was my chance to germinate and flourish failure within my projects and to feel what this means within my practice and its inherent clash of ever hopeful contradictions… Ram ram Gelawas! Ram ram!!
The residency in Gelawas can be characterised as short, intensive and filled with hospitality.
The organisation and the villagers were very open and collaborative. I learned much about the culture of Rajasthan, but maybe the (young) villagers were even able to learn more then the participants of the residency.
I would have liked to have more time to better learn to know the craftsmen in the village. The craftsmen were usually very busy.
For the children, it was holiday period. They had time enough.
The numbers of ceramic horses and their size the potter is producing each year impressed me. In his spare time he is also a dancer and a wonderful performer with a fast turning wheel on his shoulder.
To discover the culture of the village and the habits of the villagers, I would have preferred to have more time. I was glad, I had been in Rajasthan a year before, which gave me in some way a familiar feeling.
Before going to Gelawas I had decided not to bring any materials from The Netherlands to the village. I did not want to import art materials from The West to India. The constraint of material was my well considered way to take my time and explore the village and the culture of Rajasthan which finally resulted in an art piece of which I would never have thought to use so much colour and fabric in it.
I realised that a tool for exchange of experiences and visualisation of the collaboration with the villagers more directly could be valuable. It could give something in return to the villagers.
One could think of a musical instrument, but for me as visual artist, I am thinking of a small instant photo studio. Maybe with crazy, fantastic backgrounds with a mixture of Indian gods and goddesses and also with the landscape of a land that is situated far below sea-level.
I really felt at home in my canopy and I know that Gelawas will be another home forever.
10 days residency in Village of Gelawas, Rajasthan was turning in to intense experience of cultural exchange within the member of residency artist as well as with the villagers and its environment. The residency provided an opportunity to participate in this constant event of curiosity and willingness to share ideas and joy with one another. It provided a platform to look back in to cultural values and differences and give a flight to artistic expressions within this environment.
Also the good mix of the artist from around the world carrying their individual practice and individual ideas with their belief had added a lot to take home as an experience. Each artist has been selected carefully by different edge group and experience , made it more open to learn from each other. It served as a complete educational event throughout in each ways, even at the end of the residency it had developed this emotional relation amongst participants and the villagers. This momentary confrontation of the idea of human attachment within this strange land with the foreigners got expressed by tears by many while leaving the village.
I congratulate the organizer of Kaman art foundation to make an effort develop a platform for artists and also for the people of village to come on one ground and to be able to analysis the routes of human existence, the title “Sowing Seeds” served well.
I am very happy that I was selected for Sowing Seeds Residence and spent almost two weeks in the village Gelawas, Rajasthan. I have got unbelievable experience!
I was really impressed how welcoming and generous local people are, how they were opened and ready to help for every project that artists proposed them to do. I spent much time with children, but except my main project I did only one workshop with them. If the residence were longer I would make more workshops and plays because it was a real pleasure to work with such patient and respectful students, who have sense of beauty in their genes.
I think Sowing Seeds is a very good project. I am not sure that people from village have understood what contemporary art is, but definitely they have got unforgettable impressions, also like us, artists. It was cultural exchange and we also have many things to learn from rural people. I never forget their love.
I would like to say thanks for each person from Sowing Seeds team, who did a lot of work due to make our life comfortable.
This residency was an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a person and develop as an artist. I found myself operating in a rather unusal setting which at first seemed to be more like a construction of reality rather than a representation of an actual state. Thus, due to the feeling of being placed on a stage, I followed my interest to dive deeper and discover the sphere of everyday life activities in the village, but tend to fail in escaping my position of an external observer. However, alongside the numerous attempts to discover what is “real”, I found a very loving and giving community, also friends whit whom I wish to continue to collaborate and ideas to develop further. Therefore, I experienced “Sowing Seeds” as a meeting point or platform from where to widen one´s perspective by means of immediacy.
Sowing Seeds was my first experience in an artist residency and trip to India was the first for a trip to Latin America, and was a very intense experience. The days Gelawas, contact with its inhabitants, their habits and their ways of perceiving life made me think incessantly about the cultural aspects that permeate my everyday life.
In relation to artistic practice, I see that some difficulties arose. Despite being in contact with very interesting artists, I could not find a partner for discussion of the process, and I believe this occurred for several reasons: the difficulty of expressing my ideas in English, the big difference between the concepts of work and need to delve into each in its own process. I notice then that the exchanges between us were much more of cultural and personal aspects than artistic and conceptual.
Another difficulty encountered during the residency was the lack of time to do the job. I think the short period of 15 days requires a smaller amount of activities, so that attention will turn more to the process. Another problem I had was in relation to the Internet, which to me is an important support for research and the electricity, which was necessary for the work development.
Sowing Seeds was an unforgettable experience. The structure of the camping was great, as well as the relationship with the organization and the participating artists. The idea of integrating the rural area and contemporary art is really good, although difficult to achieve effectively. One suggestion is that there is some introduction to the villagers before the residency, especially some work in relation to art (workshops, presentations, images) and in relation to other cultures, so they can better understand what happens during our stay in place.
arriving in a small- frozen in time- village in the desert into a cloud of wild camels was a quite unique first impression about the place where you are going to spend the next 2 weeks, what followed was not less impressive, the great camp that was built for us was really special too, but the most beautiful was not inside the camp, outside, in the center of the village was the people, the villagers, old men and women with their slow pace, smiles and curiosity, and again a cloud, this time of kids, full of energy, almost electric, one could see in their faces that we were almost aliens that came from another planet.
The life in the camp was quite intense, like india itself, you see life and humanity face to face, you suddenly are living in totally different conditions and environment than at home which makes it very inspiring, together with the fact that you are living with really good artists, having talks, that no matter how vane those were, you were sharing ideas and impressions that are always very important for an artist.
Finally I think the most important about the residency was not to make an specific work there, which was also good but all the knowledge, memories and new ideas taken from that experience, this will remain forever in us.
Sowing Seeds called my attention since the first moment; it was great to be part of this residency! It’s impossible to imagine what is it, what it means, what you can do … until you arrive, you get in contact with people from the village and start to feel and understand their rhythm, their way of life.
The residency is an amazing, daring and original idea from Vagaram, Chima and Bhupat, Indian artists. They create an exceptional meeting of artists from all over the world at the heart of the ancient culture and dry lands of Rajasthan. Since they are from this land, they know how to set the residency camps in selected communities, know what they want to achieve for the village and how to give us the opportunity to realise our “art projects”.
The rhythm of work is set by each artist. Research and results are personal achievements, then shared and discussed with the group. It’s a rich experience. Is special for the close contact we can get with people from the village, interesting to see different ways artists face their projects, warm when cold nights brought us together around the fire, joyful with the dances, meetings in town, ceremonies, “yoga time”, smiles and music … It was sad to say good-bye.
My arrival in Galawas was unlike anything I have ever encountered. The genuine beauty of the villagers, especially the children is something I will always remember. The sparkle of their eyes and the sweet smiles. The dancing girls in the evening were of a beauty that words cannot describe.
Straight away, I made friends with the children and we visited the elementary and middle schools where I chose sites for installations. I wanted to relate my art projects to historical Indian artwork with reflective glass and mirrors, and also to incorporate scientific themes, like astronomy and astrology, relating to the sculptural instruments found at Jantar Mantar in Jaipur. With all of these elements of Indian culture that fascinated me, I worked on several different projects. I faced many challenges.
My body is back…
My mind and my soul are still somewhere in Rajasthan…
I am very grateful for every second spent there…
And feel so blessed to have had the chance to meet all of these wonderful people at Sowing Seeds – organizers, artists and locals… old & young… people & children of Gelawas…. my new family…
unforgettable orange sun
unforgettable joy of life