Zapurza, Pune’s new art point, to be inaugurated on Thursday

Published on May 18, 2022 12:43 AM IST
Zapurza museum of art and culture will be inaugurated by legendary flautist pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia in Pune on Thursday
Zapurza museum of art and culture will be inaugurated by legendary flautist pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia in Pune on Thursday. (RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT)
Zapurza museum of art and culture will be inaugurated by legendary flautist pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia in Pune on Thursday. (RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT)
ByTapasya Iyer and Aaryaman Dahiya

PUNE Pune is all set to have a unique new place to celebrate India’s vibrant culture. Set up by Ajit Gadgil, ‘Zapurza - The museum of art and culture’ will be inaugurated on Thursday by legendary flautist pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. “We wished to create a special location for all different art forms in Pune,” said Gadgil, the founder of the museum.

The centre spans 7.5 acre of land and houses eight galleries, an amphitheatre, and an auditorium to celebrate the diversity of art forms. The architecture of the place designed by Shirish Beri lends a traditional vibe to the overall experience. “It took us four years to build the museum. The construction got a little delayed due to Covid-19,” said Gadgil.

On display at Zapurza is a collection of paintings by Jamini Roy, J Swaminathan, progressive artist group Sadanand Bakre and others. Along with this, there is a studio of the Maharashtra art school showing the impact of social and political changes like the Bhakti movement on various art forms. This collection includes creations from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik and other areas of Maharashtra.

Raju Sutar, a curator at the centre, said, “When one enters the printing gallery, they can see a black dot on a white background. That is because on paper, mostly everything is written in black if you look at newspapers or books. By contrast, when one enters the lamp gallery, the first thing they can see is a white light on a black background.”

There are galleries allocated to local artists to provide opportunity to the young, budding artists of Pune. “There are a few galleries specifically allocated to showcasing the art of Prabhakar Barwe, Jayant Joshi and other artists,” said Madhav Imartey, one of the curators of the art museum.

In a unique addition to the museums, there are two separate galleries dedicated to jewellery and textiles. “The silver jewellery and vessels in this collection are more than 150 years’ old. All these are hand-made by Pune-based artists like Godbole,” said Gadgil.

Traditional paithani sarees are displayed in the textiles section. As these are more than 200 years’ old, the preservation of these sarees is an uphill task. “There are specific designs of light, moisture, and ventilation used to keep the natural colours intact. Additionally, we use machines to roll these and preserve them in a proper place,” said Vinay Narkar, curator of the textile museum. The organisation also plans to host its first-ever World Textile Art (WTA) biennale in India in October this year.

Owing to such diverse collections, there is an in-house research and conservation centre near Nanded. “Apart from art admirers, we also plan to conduct workshops by experts to teach traditional art forms to preserve their legacy. We will also provide internships to researchers interested in the field. This will help them delve deeper into the understanding of art and culture. The applications will be rolled out on the website soon,” said Sutar.

Additionally, to encourage performing arts in the region, there are some workshops planned around music and dance throughout the year. “In the opening week, there will be a dance workshop themed ‘embracing the body’. It is open to all to learn different dance styles,” said Sayali Kulkarni, a dancer who manages the workshops at the centre.

Though the museum is located far from the city at Kudaje, the organisation plans to arrange special buses from the main areas like Deccan and Swargate soon. This weekend, the opening ceremony will be followed by a four-day mega festival to showcase talents from all art forms. Dr Renu Gadgil, Ajit Gadgil’s wife who equally admires art, said, “We wish to create a space for people of all age groups. A family should be able to spend a whole day in this place; that is our aim.”

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