Art Ichol - of boundless creativity

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Aug 2018 10:39:58



A rt is eternal. Its expanse, unfettered and its extent, unfathomable. Though it finds its space and commands its presence in even the most unlikely of places, when nurtured in manicured premise, it flourishes even more beautifully. This was probably the idea behind the creation of Art Ichol, an art centre near Maihar in Madhya Pradesh that is likeaplayground for creative minds. Ichol is two hours midway of Khajuraho temples and the Panna and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves.

It is located 8 kms from Maihar, well-known for the Sharada Devi temple. The sculpture park at Art Ichol titillates one’s creative senses. It showcases works produced locally and has works of artists like Sakti Burman, Chirayu Sinha, Narayan Sinha and Nobina Gupta. As one enters the Khaprel Kothi, or the main art centre, one is baffled by the array of art at one’s disposal- sculptures, paintings, metallic junk assembled in an amazing and amusing way.

There is a sculpture of famous Sarod player and court musician Baba Allauddin Khan who had trained the trinity of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi among others.

Then there is the bronze statue of Debabrata De and a simple brick temple to honour the humble brick maker, to name a few. The sculptures from here regularly get picked up to adorn homes, hotels, corporate offices etc and are replaced with new works and so this is not a museum of artwork but a continuous creative process that keeps evolving with time and is thus rooted to the soil yet contemporary. Art Ichol is a platform that aims at creating, sharing and promoting creative arts.

And it attracts from all over the world those who have art in their heart. So artists, craft enthusiasts and artisans come together and give wings to their creativity in the serene premise that itself holds a magical power to inspiringathought process that can swing from the most abstract to the most precise. Over the years, painters, ceramicists, sculptors, writers, photographers, film makers and others have visited Maihar to satiate their creative thirst.

So you have luminaries right from Laxma Goud, Sakti Burman, Paresh Maity, Anjolie Ela Menon to Jacques Kaufmann, Sandy Brown and Sudeep Sen sharing and enriching this space with their creations. The name Art Ichol comes from the the neighbouring village of Ichol where the centre also facilitates skill development and community building. Local artisans from Ichol and other neighbouring villages also keep contributing to the canvas of the centre,thereby bringing in the vibrancy and colourful palette of Madhya Pradesh.

Founding Director Ambica Beri was the one who saw the potential in Ichol and developed it into a solid art space, more than just a place for sporadic art gathering. Beri and her father, Suraj P Subherwal, Architect for Art Ichol, and Narayan Sinha, visual concept and art design, toiled to bring their dream into reality.

The design of the place is an intermingling of old and new, traditional and modern. The centre was inaugurated on February 21, 2015. So next time you are around Maihar, do not restrict your visit to the Sharada Devi temple, royal palaces, forests or ruins of temples, consider adding Ichol Art Centre on the itinerary as well.