Pondicherry is slowly fashioning itself into a hub of arts and culture in India. Yesterday, Kirsten got an invitation to the opening (vernissage, in French!) of a little art gallery in our neighborhood. The gallery showcases modern art from artists around India.
The art was incredible. There were several absurdist pieces that conveyed a sense of disturbance about the banality of poverty and suffering in this country. Other pieces were more uplifting. These were usually in a graphic design aesthetic. Nina, Kirsten and I liked one painting in particular. It was a sort of dreamscape that looked a little like a cartoon.
Around Pondicherry, there are other little bursts of creativity that are taking place. There is a boutique around the corner from my house called CreArt that showcases designers that create clothes and accessories. The store’s owner is also interested in sustainability and it community involvement. All the textiles are sourced from local merchants and are fairly traded.
One of the designers is a French young lady called Melissa, who is married to a Pondicherrian. She and her husband have created a line of clothing called Takla Makan, which is a reference to a desert along the Silk Route. Melissa was trained in Europe and India, and her garments contain a delicate mix of Chinese, Indian and European aesthetics. I have already bought a couple of her designs and I am looking forward to visiting her workshop over the next couple of weeks.