Every year, Harsh Goenka’s beach bungalow at Marve transforms into an artist residency of sorts. With over 20 artists coming together for the RPG Art Camp, the event hosted by Harsh Goenka and Arts Trust’s Vickram Sethi, features an array of talent from across India and the world.
What started as small camp in 1991 is now a calendar-marked event for the city’s art frat. The idea behind the camp is to provide painters with an alternative space outside the confines of their studio. “The setting of the bungalow provides a perfect backdrop for artists. It allows them to leave their imagination unfettered,” says Goenka, chairman, RPG Enterprises.
And there’s more than the easel and brushstrokes that’s keeping them busy. “There’s a balance between art and recreation at the camp. It’s a cultural exchange. It’s a week of music, food and relaxation by the sea. We’ve made arrangements for painting, relaxation, and the sharing of knowledge and skills between the resident artists,” he adds. The weeklong camp reaches its culmination today, putting on display brushstrokes from 23 artists. “It’s a great mix of artists — from veterans like Anjolie Ela Menon, Paresh Maity and Bangladesh’s Shahabudin to promising young talents like Avishek Sen, SN Sujith and Purnna Behera. We aim to create an ideal platform for fresh talent to meet the seniors in the industry, learn from them, mingle with the best and get some pointers while each creates their own masterpiece ready for display on the final day,” says Goenka.
With no boundaries of themes or rule or timelines at the artist commune, the works on display will be as much a surprise for Goenka as for the rest of the art world. “The cross-section of artists is so different that I can’t wait to see the results. Personally, I’m interested to see the self-portraits by them. Artists like Anjolie have stayed here many times and every year it’s a completely new side of theirs that’s revealed with these artworks.”