There is an array of retreats scattered around India that are prioritising on providing the creative Indian will all the tools they need to enhance their body of work. An inquiry into the process of a creative will always lead to the understanding that environment is everything. The cultural and ecological fabric of India coupled with sensitive and deliberate design and program has lead to a slew of retreats or spaces that facilitate individual thought and engage their users in more ways than one. We have selected some of the most interesting retreats scattered across creative hubs in India for the next time you need a space to enhance your creative process. Besides being great places to gain solitude and perspective, these retreats will also help connect you to other creatives and thinkers. Good work is an effect of collaboration and deliberation and all of these spaces/retreats resonate that sentiment.
I. HH Spaces
This Art Space and Residency nestled in Gorbatt Ward, Arpora, provides a space for global and local artists to collaborate and introspect. A stream of workshops and studio spaces in this Goan - Portuguese villa engages the users and helps them innovate and mould their work. Recently, the Serendipity Arts Festival, that curates 8 days of immersive art experiences, organised some of their studios at this space and the result was a series of brilliant exhibits and workshops from artists like Raghu Wodeyar and Venuri Parera. Madhu Das’s earth-mover was breathtaking and the space served as the perfect stage for these transcendental pieces.
Where: North Goa
Vaayu is the perfect integration of community and creativity. With a high emphasis on consciousness and union with the landscape, they provide a wide array of activities ranging from yoga retreats to surfing. This the ideal space for you if you want to find yourself engaged while being at ease. They have an upcoming Yoga Retreat on March 16 with Alexander Denpinger, a widely respected Yin Yoga practitioner. With multiple events and activities scattered around the year, Vaayu is highly suited for a higher-energy and interactive experience. They also have the Ableton Music Creation Retreat (March 02-06), an immersive experience that inspires musicians to learn and fine-tune the technical skills and techniques they need to produce their own music and eventually rebuild the same for a live performance.
With relaxed open and rooftop spaces, Vaayu is the place to be if you want to create and connect.
III. Saraya Eco - Stay
This densely vegetated property is perfect for creators that have an appreciation for earthy cuisine and architecture. With a 300-year-old restored Portuguese mansion at its centre, the space reflects warmth and tranquillity at its core. It houses an art gallery and a healthy organic vegetarian garden cafe. Regular events include art and wellness workshops, yoga retreats, live - music events and meditation rooms keep the guests occupied while providing with enough room for solitude and personal exploration. Guests can choose from accommodations in tree houses and mud houses. Saraya is very economically priced and serves the aimless creator too who simply wants to escape the pace of urban life. The spaces of Saraya almost blend with the ground and have a lightness and warmth to it.
IV : Pepper House
Every design, architecture and art enthusiast looks up to the Kochi - Muzaris Biennale as the Mecca of culture and expression. The Biennale spaces are, for the most part, heritage properties that have been preserved, repurposed, and developed for the exhibition and The Pepper House is one of their heritage spaces that house the functions of the Biennale. Pepper House is intended as an evolving project to create a multi-purpose space that will host and promote visual arts year-round in Kochi. This is a beautiful waterfront property with phenomenal views. It has blended itself perfectly in Kochi’s fabric and serves as space for serious deliberation and unique work. It is multi-purpose while being niche with workshop spaces, visual arts library and an Art Space Cafe. A beautiful courtyard at its core serves as an ode to traditional South Indian architecture.
V : URU Art Harbour
Where : Kochi
Residencies at URU aims to facilitate transdisciplinary research and be a space that encourages artists, musicians, writers, and philosophers to experiment creatively. With a focus on public discourse and civic engagement, the residency plays a pivotal role in moulding Kochi’s creative scape. With exhibitions curated by artists like Riyas Komu to workshops that promote transdisciplinary research, URU is a nexus for serious and impactful work in Kochi and the space is malleable and open and serves as a canvas that resonates the ethos within which our culture is rooted in.
VI : Art Ichol -
Where : Madhya Pradesh
Art Ichol is a platform for creating, sharing and promoting the arts. It is a commune where resident artists, craft enthusiasts and talented artisans can collaborate while in the midst of nature. It surrounds the neighbouring village Ichol and derives it’s name from the same. A series of Community activities happen in this space. The foundation offers the unique proposition of its 3 estates, each having it’s own unique intent and language. Ichol is a glorious amalgamation of natural and sensitive man - made elements and it houses a well - acclaimed writer’s retreat. The writers’ cottage Amariya is a glorious getaway. The streaming of the river Tamas serves as the spine of this space. The retreat abounds in bird and piscine life, its meandering river turn is the perfect fishing spot and a photographers’ delight at sunset. Ichol provides the user with programs, scholarships and festivals that ensure a hollistic experience and energy year - round.
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