Mandrem, a quiet scenic village in Goa has always been known for its skilled masons, portrait artists, Ganesha idol makers, as well as its general inclination towards art and craft practices. Today, its most significant claim to fame lies in the cohort of Goa’s most notable contemporary artists it has produced. Some of these artists include Pradeep Naik, Shilpa Mayenkar Naik, Kalidas Mhamal, Kedar Dhondu, and Bhisaji Gadekar.
Learn About Some Of These Artists Here...
Kedar Dhondu teaches at Goan College of Arts and had studied in Sarojini Naidu School of Art and Communication in Hyderabad. He is presently based in Goa.
When the lockdown was imposed for the first time last year, the lives and experiences of people stuck at homes became a subject of interest for him. He wanted to discover people, study their lives and find out how they have been adapting to the new lifestyle in lockdown. His project, ‘Lonely Residents’ invited people to send him their images along with a few lines on how they have been spending time. Out of all the submissions, Kedar made 35 drawings, uploaded them on his Facebook and Instagram accounts and also tagged the people who sent him.
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Kalidas Mhamal was working on a project on Goa’s history when he came across a story from the 16th century, during the Portuguese reign of Goa, which got him hooked. His art work, ‘Caste Thread’ evokes that very period in Goan history that witnessed the establishment of Portuguese sovereignty over parts of present-day Goa, and the conversion of Brahmins, amongst others from various castes, to Christianity. His art work conveys the message that caste privileges did not disappear with the change in religion.
Pradeep Naik played a key role in setting up the Goa Artist Collective, , which works to promote and showcase artists from Goa through exhibitions, workshops and discussions. His house in Mandrem is the focal point where artists meet, interact and plan for the future.
Bhisaji Gadekar studied sculpture at Shantiniketan after attending the Goa College of Art, and is also a performance artist, a practice through which he acknowledges his family history. He also has his own studio, Chitrashala in Goa.
These artists have several plans to organise exhibitions and art camps both in Mandrem and in other Goan villages. Most of the artists have not limited their art works to be displayed solely in galleries, instead making it accessible to others through their own efforts, thereby creating a unique revolution in arts and craft in India.
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