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Relentless consumerism and senseless aping of styles and trends have often overtaken the traditional desire to perpetuate and honour family history, cultural sensibilities and local craftsmanship. Colour, patterns, texture have been slowly bleeded out of aesthetic story telling until a habitat has become stylishly minimal, but emotionally impotent.
ART-IVISM PROJECT MAY - OCT 2018: 'THE DIARY OF TRANSCIENCE': Journeying through immigrant Britain A one year interactive MOBILE ART-IVISM ENQUIRY by British Indian Pop Artists Ketna Patel & Jon Reading, observing, documenting & chronicling untold stories of United Kingdom's immigrant Diaspora, and the part they play in modern Britain.
SYNOPSIS: Perhaps no other British creation symbolizes the standard of excellence as well as the Rolls Royce car. From Royals to Rap stars, the Rolls Royce car holds its own as the ultimate symbol of success. Heralded as the car of the Maharajas, Ketna and Jon have resurrected a classic 1975 Rolls Royce 'Silver shadow'. Lovingly restoring this vintage beauty, they have painted the artwork "Selling Britain by the Pound" over it with their studio's usual flamboyant Pop Art style. Having just returned to Britain after twenty years in South East Asia, they will both once again set off on their travels, this time documenting the local street immigrant culture of Britain.
OBJECTIVE: To explore, facilitate and reflect a deeper awareness of the many layers of narrative within the Indian communities living in the U.K, both to themselves and the rest of the world.The Art car will act as a travelling laboratory / depository for collecting and archiving stories of the many-layered generations of Indian immigrants in Britain.
DELIVERABLES: Using Photography and Film, the contents of their findings will be culminate into a travelling exhibition in late 2018 / early 2019; both in India and the U.K. It will feature visual art, video installations, a book and collaborative projects that will inevitably manifest as a result of their journeying.
INTERACTIVE OUTREACH: To track the car's progress, we will encourage the public to become part of the journey via social media. As an outreach tool, the project will have a public Face book + Instagram + blog page where one can contribute photos, make comments and partake in discussions. This can be complemented with mainstream press, talks, exhibitions, articles, school + community centre visits etc.
PROJECT CHRONOLOGY:(1a): Introduce the project to the public via mainstream & social media platforms.(1b): Acquire and resurrect a retired, pre-owned Rolls Royce (this is a symbol ripe for re-interpretation)(1c): Document its rehabilitation(2) Travel to various British cities, towns and villages e.g London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester etc and document the 'Immigration' influences. This part of the installation can be an interactive, online interface which will take on its own life and personality as the content is added.
Examples of books / writers used for the research for this project.
BRITINDIA: One of the intentions of this ongoing project will be to find different ways of creatively expressing the everyday 'parallels' between Britain and India. These will be transmuted into visual narratives as part of larger 'story telling' devices.
A snapshot of the Graffitti wall painted by the villagers of Gunehar for the Ketna Patel GUNEHAR POP installation. The 2016 edition of the SHOPART ARTSHOP 2 PROJECT was organised by the 4 Tables Project in partnership with Ketna Patel Studio and Puneet Kaushik.
The three curators on the 'Grand Finale' of the residency
Puneet Kaushik, Frank Schlichtman, Ketna Patel
The 4 Tables Project (Frank Schlichtmann) in partnership with Ketna Patel Studio raised most of their project funding through crowd sourcing. https://www.ketto.org/fundrais...
Desolate empty shops of a little village turned into 'ArtShops', i.e. artists workshops! A whole village turned into an arts gallery! A festival of arts for everybody, from local villagers to visiting art lovers! And all this live on Internet!
ShopArt ArtShop 2 is a conceptual arts event set in a small, pristine village, Gunehar, in Kangra Valley, HP. From May 14 to June 7 this year, numerous contemporary artists from around India and the world will live in this village and participate in a paid residency. They will be allotted empty shops and desolate spaces as their workspace and work on art concepts dealing with themes that attempt to transcend, through their work, the great rural-urban divide that exists in today’s India and indeed, the world.
The three-week residency will culminate in an exhibition (June 7-14) whereby the entire village will turn into a gallery of contemporary arts. The Art Festival-- or ‘Mela’, as the villagers fondly call it-- will see traditional villagers, urbanites and tourists come together to celebrate their creative unity. The finished art works will become the center pieces around which a whole cultural program with local ‘Mela’ elements, music concerts, performances, live shows, film screenings, podium discussions etc. will be held.
SA AS is unique because it not only, for a short while, reimagines a village but also gives the contemporary Indian arts scene a much-needed alternative. We believe arts must occasionally be taken out of the urban, gallery and market oriented space and set in open spaces and put in unusual contexts. For this purpose, SA AS artists are not only required to develop concepts that combines the traditional with the contemporary, but also work daily in front of villagers and visitors to make the whole process of creating arts transparent and accessible. A carefully planned Internet platform meticulously documents, demonstrates and archives the whole process of creation, plus allows ‘virtual’ visitors to ‘visit’ the village, engage and communicate with the artists as well as participate in the events. Finally, the whole event is taken out ‘on tour’ to cities in India and abroad.