Sandarbh is an artist led initiative which aims to create contexts for site-specific and community public art works
Sandarbh, an initiative that started in 2003 by Chintan Upadhya as a ten day artist residency workshop, is now a platform for experimenting with artistic processes, and exploring new modalities of viewership and public participation in art. The organization finding its inspiration in rural India started their first residency project in Partapur, a town in the Vagad district of Western Rajasthan in India.
Reaching out to locale for dialogues with artist of various nationalities and spreading the arty perceptions, Sandarbh initiates creative processes in non-studio, and non-gallery spaces for artists to meet. The team, that works on voluntary basis, aims to produce contexts for a deep and meaningful engagement with existing trajectories in art practice.
Sandarbh, a few years ago, started a project called ‘Lifestyle Museums’ , art museums for rural communities, figuring out the relationship between the objects in a museum and the community that hosts it. The idea was to engage with local communities and build spaces through public contributions of objects making it an interative concept. Three museums were set up in different villages in Vagad district namely- Baai ka Ghada, Navapadar, & Hemta ki Dhani.
Another public art project that Sandarbh engaged into was ‘A Cube’ which brought together Artists, Architects and Artisans in an initiative to create built-forms which can serve as social contexts for the local community in Vagad. A House to Watch the Sunset, first structure of the project by Anke Mellin, is a house situated on a hill located in Madkola village, five kilometers from Partapur. The building suited for a retreat from everyday life has all its openings directed to the west. An organic project where the spaces could be rebuilt and reinvent each time, reviving the the local styles and techniques of construction.
Sandarbh, with its work in rural areas, question accepted notions about Art of what constitutes ‘art’, where can ‘art’ be accessed and by who?
There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts.
John F. Kennedy