“I am proud to be known as a Pune-based artist”

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNE MY CITY BHARATI PITRE -

When my fam­ily shifted to Pune from Mum­bai eight years ago, we were all ex­cited to make the move—for var­i­ous rea­sons, of course. We didn’t have any roots in this city but there were var­i­ous things about it that at­tracted us. For me, im­por­tantly, I could have a space for my own stu­dio. And the lovely weather and the peace of mind I got was so con­ducive for get­ting in­spired to work.

As an artist, I was fa­mil­iar with the pulse of Mum­bai and what peo­ple liked. But I re­alised, as I started tour­ing art gal­leries in Pune, that most places had a very dif­fer­ent sen­si­bil­ity from my work. The city fo­cussed on lo­cal artists; wa­ter colour land­scapes, re­al­is­tic portraits and a few ab­stracts. I was a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive about how my work, which is whim­si­cal, quirky and with a touch of hu­mour, would be re­ceived. I wasn't sure if I would be looked at as a se­ri­ous artist and con­tin­ued show­ing my work in Mum­bai. I started show­ing my work to a few friends I had made in the world of art. What I found re­fresh­ing is that the art gal­leries were very ap­proach­able.

Over the years, I have seen the change tak­ing place in the art sce­nario. Artists from around In­dia be­ing in­vited to ex­hibit their work and Puneites started get­ting an ex­po­sure to dif­fer­ent styles of paint­ings, sculp­tures and in­stal­la­tions. Bharati Vidyapeeth came for­ward to put to­gether Pune Bin­nale and did a great job of it. They called upon many artists to gen­er­ate ideas re­lated to sav­ing hills of Pune. Some prom­i­nent cu­ra­tors from out of the city were in­vited to cu­rate shows. Art gal­leries took part in this event to show­case work done by many artists and im­por­tant pub­lic places were utilised to dis­play in­stal­la­tions and sculp­tures.

What we need to do now is get all artists come to­gether to start a fes­ti­val of the arts which will at­tract au­di­ences from other cities. Just as Mum­bai is a hub for art, Pune too can get recog­ni­tion as a con­nois­seur of se­ri­ous art. Any artist’s dream is to ex­hibit at Mum­bai’s Je­hangir Art gallery and I too, will be show­ing there later this year. But see­ing the city wel­com­ing art, I am proud to be known as a Pune-based artist.

Bharati Pitre is a pa­pier mache and com­mer­cial artist

WHAT WE NEED TO DO NOW IS GET ALL ARTISTS COME TO­GETHER TO START A FES­TI­VAL OF THE ARTS

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