Despite India exporting 129.99 billion worth of handicrafts, Indians finds it difficult to accept art as a career choice.
Handicrafts of India are highly placed in overseas market. It is due to this demand that India exported around Rs.129.99 billion worth handicrafts in the year 2016-17 which has increased by 18 percent from Rs 109.89 billion in the year 2015-16. The industry therefore is one of the highest contributors to the country’s GDP. Despite this fact, artists in the country are not given their due, and at times, even forced to live in poverty. It is to correct this imbalance and give an impetus to such artists, a mega exhibition event called as SPART (SPort+ART) has been organized in Pune on April 29th 2017.
The event is set to be inaugurated by Legendary Australian cricketer Brett Lee who will be appearing for any event for the first time in India. The exhibition is open to all from 9 am to 6 pm and will be held at Collonade Hall, Residency club Pune. The inauguration and talk show by Brett Lee followed by lunch buffet will happen between 11am to 2 pm. However the talk show would be a private event for 220 people with a ticket charge for Rs 3000.
“Brett Lee himself is an artist at heart. The common point between me and him is that his work was mainly in Australia but has strong ties to India through his art as well as his social cause of training clinical music therapists and introducing this therapy as an integral tool in healing the physical, mental and emotional wounds of marginalized children through his Foundation called Mewsic. I on the other hand started my enterprise in Australia and am now giving a platform to Indian artists, so they can portray and sell their art without having to spare selling commission. This is the reason why he connected to the cause and was ready to inaugurate the event,” informed Akshaya Borkar, founder of The Art and Craft Gallery who is hosting this event.
Sharing his views on the condition of artists in India, Debabrata Pal who is a painter and works with an automotive designing company said, “ In India, artists are not given their due. Only some certain identified professions are considered to be noble and children are not encouraged to take up art. The event would help in changing this psyche.” Pal believes it is against this backdrop, the Gallery has provided him great support. “I practice Chromotherapy (science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony) . Through this platform, my art reaches the right people and in future when I start becoming successful, I will quit my job to concentrate on art,” he said.
Anjali Hugay who studied electronic engineering and now has her own studio also echoed similar sentiments. “ Certain professions are pushed forth for people to follow as they are said to be the ones with guaranteed source of income. This is mainly because in India, people still think twice before spending fairly large amounts on paintings which is not the case in western countries. Such an initiative will definitely help in changing people’s perspective towards art.” Anjali makes landscapes and figurative art in oil paints.