Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts

5 August 2015

Azulejo Art and the man behind reviving this art in Goa

Thank you for this artwork and a very happy birthday to you!

What is Azulejo art? I too did not know about this art until I visited Goa a few years ago. While roaming around North Goa, I found most of the houses with creative name plates. When I was back home, I started researching about the name plates which I had seen in Goa and got to know about this particular art and the art form is called Azulejo art, and the roots are from Portugal.

Azulejo is a form of Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tile-work. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of churches, palaces, ordinary houses, schools, and nowadays, restaurants, bars and even railways or subway stations. They were not only used as an ornamental art form, but also had a specific functional capacity like temperature control in homes. (Taken from wiki)

I began getting into this art form and about the artists who work on this genre and I could see very few artists in Goa are into this art. Among them, I found Shankar Turi’s art work seemed very impressive and I called and emailed Shankar TuriShankar is one of the artist who went to specialize in Azulejo art in Lisbon Portugal in the year 2002. Until then, Azulejo art was extinct in Goa after the Portugal’s left back. Once back, he started his own business with this genre of art. 

I spoke to Shankar and I did not get any positive commitment about my request. For a while, I forgot about it and thought will think about it when we go to Goa next time.

One monsoon, we visited Goa and while roaming around Panjim, we saw Marcou Artifacts shop. We shopped for Mario Miranda’s artifacts. And my eyes fell on the Azulejo nameplates, though this style was not the one which I was looking for. On talking to the sales representative there, she said they had their workshop in Corlim Industrial Estate-Old Goa, we can check for the varieties there and custom make the name plate. We went to Corlim, found the Marcou Artifacts workshop, and looked for all the art work they were preparing, spoke to the person who does the Azulejo art, still not convinced. We were disappointed and while heading back, again Shankar Turi came into my mind.

We asked for the route to Bicholim, from old Goa, we took 2 ferry’s and mountainous roads to reach Bicholim. The roads were lonely and in between few villages and it was a memorable drive. We reached Bicholim but how to search for Turi's workshop? Internet was hardly working. I tried searching my phone if I had saved Shankar Turi’s number. Luckily, I had saved and immediately called Shankar. He picked and guided the route to his workshop.

Now this was Shankar Turi. A real artist, the calls, or emails did not matter. When we spoke to him and told about our requirement, he agreed to make our name plate. He said it would take minimum 2 weeks’ time to prepare as lot of artwork and luck is involved in glazing the tiles in the furnace. The painted tiles can crack due to the heat, which will be again redone.

That was done, we had 3 days in Goa, and then we would return back. After 2 days, we again made a visit to Turi’s workshop at Bicholim and we were in a surprise to see that he was almost done with our work. Only baking the tiles in the furnace was awaiting. And I was so impressed with the design and work, this was what I wanted and only a true artist can do that. On the other hand, Shankar was very excited with the pattern we chose and he was eager to complete the design. Art mostly depends on the mood of the artist and we were lucky we were able to meet Shankar and get the great piece of work from him.

It was commendable, the way he tried to send the courier of the completed name plate. Sending through any of the courier's it was a little risky and he could convince one of his cousins travelling to Pune to hand over the parcel to us.  

3 March 2010

A village visit! ಗಂಗ ರಾಜನ ಹಳ್ಳಿ... ಒಂದು ಕಿರು ಪಯಣ...

ಗಂಗ ರಾಜನ ಹಳ್ಳಿ... ಒಂದು ಕಿರು ಪಯಣ...  
January 26, 2010; republic day this year did not fall on a Friday or Monday. We, especially the ones working in IT sector will be waiting a year ahead for long weekend. So, this January 26th I did not go to my hometown and I was in Bangalore. Usually, spending a week day holiday will be like going to a mall in the evening or spending the day lazily at home, cooking, washing clothes and so on.

Gangarajanahalli, is the village where we landed after two hours of journey from Bangalore on January 26th. A serene place, free from pollution – those annoying noise of vehicles, replaced with chirping of birds, children playing – their cry, people's curiosity when we landed withbags and charts. The journey from Bangalore city to this village was tiring with scorching hot sun but worth visiting this place; ride from the nice road was ultimate.

We entered the village, where we reached a place where there were house on both the ends of the narrow roads. We spotted a very old house. In fact, most of the houses in that village were very old, which were more than hundred years old. Simple house, very old ones, looks amazing. If we ever compare those houses with the modern houses, houses built in the olden days are the best ones. Tiled houses, vintage designs but irreplaceable, the items used in these houses were more than hundred years old still capable of using another hundred more years.

I was still admiring the structure of that house when my friend started pulling out the pencils and chart papers. People from the nearby houses had surrounded us by then, curious of what’s going on. We sat in the veranda of one of the house and we received good hospitality, they started talking to us, gave a mat to sit down. My friend was busy with the sketches of the houses and I started clicking some pictures. I then felt awkward to click more pictures as people started gaping, which made them think what is she going to do with our pictures. I was then imaging if any strangers like this come to our house in Bangalore, would we treat them this way. Even, if a salesperson comes we would be scared to open the door and talk to him. But in the villages, it’s a carefree life.

After completing the sketch of one house, we walked little further where we found some more curious villagers asking who we are and why have we come. Even here we got good hospitality, they told us stories about the place, and they led us the way to a hill. When you pass through Rama Nagar near Mysore, on the opposite side you could see a big rock mountain. It’s called Aane Gundi Betta in kannada. This betta was walk able distance from this village. But we did not want to get into this betta as it was almost 4.00PM and it would get late. We then walked towards a field with one of the village boy. Few boys were chit chatting, waiting for their friends to join them to play cricket. A farmer was scattering the ragi grains from the dust particles. When we reached this spot, the boys started teasing asking the farmer to give a good posture, and we have come to shoot his pictures and draw his sketches. This remembered me of my school days, enjoying to the core with my cousins.

The farmer started telling stories about Aane Gundi Betta (It’s named after an Elephant fell from the top of the mountain), like he saw a bear standing very close to him one night, tigers come down to village once in a while and so on. He also picked and gave me some berries which were fallen from the trees. It was nice talking to them; they were nice people with good heart. We then had our lunch which we had packed while coming in the midst of the nature. I enjoyed my time there, clicking pictures, talking to people, holding cute lamb in my arms.

All villagers who came and spoke to us had one question in common. Why have we come to visit their village? Any project? Any news channels? And so on. We answered all their questions saying we have come for relaxing in a calm place and photography and art is our passion. They were very humble people, they had a heart to listen, curious about so many things. It’s a nice experience to experience different things. We felt relaxed, out from all city chaos. Feel good to stay in the villages, it’s kind of meditation. Hope there’ll be villages in ample in the coming days. Civilization has reached such a state that we hardly find hand counts of villages. We all are responsible to save trees, save atmosphere and save earth. In some or the other way, we need to put some effort in saving our planet. Please think twice, before you take a print!!!

All in all, it was a day so pleasant and relaxing.

Few images of the village visit..

An old house in the village..

Waiting for the wind...

The farmer scattering the ragi grains..

View of Aane Gundi Betta..

The sketch of the old house.. 

Sketch with the Fountain pen..
I can work only if there is wind...

Trying it out myself...

Holding the cute lamb...