Punjab couple offers art residency in Le Corbusier-designed farmhouse

Manakpur Sharif (Punjab), July 17 (IANS) The landscape of ‘Green Revolution’ state Punjab has always been known for its golden harvest. But with the efforts of an artistically-minded entrepreneur couple, there will be a splash of colour in the agrarian state as well.

Bringing in a new concept to the state, serial entrepreneur Anuja Lath is offering art residency to artists at her three-acre farmhouse near Chandigarh.

The ‘Aura Art Stay’ had its first brush with artistic talent recently, with established and fresh artists from the region making a splash on the stone-lined wall in one portion of the well-maintained farmhouse at a day-long graffiti workshop.

“Being from the art background ourselves, we wanted to provide a natural canvas to artists to give vent to their creativity. The art residency programme is a new concept in this region and we are trying to make it a success,” Anuja, who along with her husband Atul Gupta conceptualised the project, told IANS here.

“At the graffiti workshop, we provided 1,500 square feet of wall space where over 20 art lovers expressed their childhood on the walls using enamel paint and cans of spray paint. The session started at around noon where artists spread out armed with chalk to first make their sketches followed by colour rendering. The session was assisted by the Aura Art Stay team to provide uninterrupted work environment to the artists,” Anuja pointed out.

The art residency programme, which offers residency for up to 12 artists per month, is open to artists of all hues — from the established ones to those dabbling in the world of art for the first time.

“The art residency intends to hold similar workshops in the coming weeks, going by the overwhelming response and requests from the attendees and those who missed it (graffiti workshop). The future workshops may cover a wide range of genres like pottery, painting, sculpture, serigraphy, etc,” Anuja said.

Freelance artists Devinder Pal Singh, who brought his teenage son for the graffiti workshop, told IANS: “The art residency is an interesting concept. This has not been done in this region so far. It will provide a new platform for the artists.”

The Aura farmhouse, where the couple and their family reside, is a 30-minute drive from Chandigarh, which was designed in the 1950s and 60s by French architect Le Corbusier.

The art residency rooms, including the ‘Beatles room’, ‘Picasso’ and others, offer stay to in-residence artists with a common kitchen and lounge facilities. The residency offers large outdoor spaces to work in, as well as a small but well-equipped studio to paint, sketch, sculpt or potter around.

A product of the Government College for Art in Chandigarh, Anuja was the co-founder of the Pugmarks design studio along with Atul in 1986.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in)



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