“PORTRAIT OF A NATION” is a on-road journey of three artists with diverse art practices. Starting from the tri coloured waters in Kanyakumari to reach the mighty expanse of Himalayas in Kargil, touching villages, towns, cities and megalopolis, crossing diverse landscapes, seashores, pastoral agricultural areas, parched wastelands, plains, valleys, forest and mountains, - its flowers, trees, wildlife, people, climate and geography of India.
This journey is to unite, restore, and reinvigorate the country in increasingly polarised times, through sharing, caring and creating art together with children, women, men and the elderly in rural and urban communities.
The core aim of the project is “to collaboratively create portraits with children and people from different parts the country, bringing forth the elements of people of India, blurring lines of color, culture, language, caste, religion, and gender to create a inclusive representation of the country in hope of illuminating our diverse roots and values”.
The specific objectives of the Project are:
Strengthening democratic values and practices in communities through collaborative actions of creating art
Creating bonding chain within and between communities across the nation by sharing creative commons of art production
Raising awareness on secular principles, unity in diversity through participation and knowledge sharing within communities and beyond
By the end of the journey, the caravan would have traveled more than 6500 Kms, crossed 23 major cities big and small in 17 states of India from the coastal town of Kanyakumari to the mountains of Kargil and interacted with multitude of people across the route. The following results are expected to be achieved through this Project:
- Around 400 collaborative portraits would have been created by artists and people
- Multi-city curated exhibition will be organized with collaborative artworks created during the journey
- A documentary of the journey will be made
- A book on journey will be published.
- Creative collaterals as part of the "on the move invited artist residency" will be produced to boost inclusivity.
- The archive generated will be - of the People, by the People, for the People
A collaborative existence across nation and the world
The journey will produce a large number of artworks with diverse perspectives and stories from the grassroots. The output will consist of painting, drawing, photography, audio and visual material and films. The artworks will be an important archive of collaborative production for the future with opportunities to exhibit across the nation and the world.
We are committed to producing around 400 collaborative portraits as painting and drawings involving children, women, men, the elderly, the disabled from rural and urban communities from the location where caravan camps.
Through photography, we will produce photographic images using the 19th century photography techniques like a pinhole camera, salt prints, cyanotypes, etc. for artistic and analog documentation.
Documentary of the Journey
In this long journey, ever-changing landscapes, diverse cultures & climates and thousands of interesting people to meet and create collaborative art with, an interesting setting emerges to document the colletive involvement; , plus the adventure and happenings around the caravan camp site. The travelogue will be edited with the anticipation to create conversations on diversity & inclusivity and to generate a dialog on the values of collaboration.
Book on the travel into diversity
The proposed book is a photography and collaborative posters book with all the images that are produced during the journey and the images that are collected by the people on the journey.
Art for Inclusivity
We hope to create ripple effect with the Portrait of a Nation by initiating a long-term project idea titled “Art for Inclusivity". The resources mobilized through exhibitions, public programs and other collaterals that are produced will be used in creating a long-term socially-engaging collaborative art project across India with the specific target of rural India where art and art funds do not reach.