Bhubaneswar: The month long art festival of the city Bhubaneswar Art Trail 2018 came to an end yesterday. Team Bhubaneswar Art Trail 2018 (BAT) organized the closing ceremony at the Guajhara compound in Old Town, Bhubaneswar. Dr. Krishan Kumar, IAS, Vice Chairman, Bhubaneswar Development Authority was the Chief Guest who graced the occasion in the presence of the eminent poet Shri Devdas Chhotray as Guests of Honour along with Co-Curators of BAT 2018 – Jagannath Panda, renowned artist and Managing-Trustee of Utsha Foundation for Contemporary Art and Premjish Achari, Writer and Art Critic.
Speaking on the occasion Jagannath Panda, Curator BAT 2018 said, “I am happy to co-curate these monumental gestures of creativity interwoven with the everyday fabric of Old Town. After this Trail what will remain are the intangible memories and residues of this month long Trail. We have found an abode for contemporary art in the Old Town. We hope to return. We hope to stay back and merge with the layers of the dense history of the Old Town.”
Dr. Krishan Kumar, IAS, Vice Chairman, Bhubaneswar Development Authority said, This is the first art trail in Odisha and am happy to be a part of such initiative. I Am thankful to Mr. Panda for coming forward and taking the whole responsibility of keeping everyone at one place and make this trail successful.
“What we have presented is not a mere art exhibition, it is not only our year long hard work, but it is a vision. This vision is to state that art can activate community, it can enliven spaces, it can enhance creativity and it can inspire all of us to build a better society. Furthermore it can become an important vehicle in the realisation of a community’s aspirations, it can emancipate the downtrodden, uplift the weak and strengthen our lived spaces. Our vision is a city whose commitment to excellence in design, architecture and art is readily apparent” said Premjish Achari, Curator.
As part of the closing ceremony a stage performance titled Brihad Aranyaka was performed by Pradeep Dharmapalan. In 3 brief acts focusing on the BAT 2018 themes of Memory, History and Navigation, it sought to examine these categories in a non-linear manner against the backdrop of an everyday occurrence in a contemporary setting.
The stage performance was followed by a music performance by film composer, musician, and singer, Goodly Rath and Ensemble who presented a contemporary fusion music performance featuring artists M Himadri (Saxophone and Flute) , Goodly Rath (Bass Guitar), Iraj Rath (Keyboards), Suraj Rath (Drums), Dichen Nayak (Guitar) and Kumar Subhasis (Percussion). Volunteers, community leaders and project team members who were involved in this seminal project for two months were felicitated at this ceremony.
Speaking on the impact of BAT2018 on the city, Sukanya Rath, Project Director, BAT, said, “In its first edition, Bhubaneswar Art Trail 2018 is a manifestation of vision, meticulous planning, continuous and consistent stakeholder engagement, rigorous onsite work and proactive participation of artists, patrons, sponsors, community, crew and volunteers. A unique community based public art initiative, BAT 2018 demonstrates how art can interact in the public domain and impact social change. Most importantly BAT 2018 reflects the power of the indomitable human spirit. “
Bhubaneswar Art Trail 2018 was conceptualized and organized by Utsha Foundation in collaboration with Odisha Tourism, Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, and Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd and generously supported by NALCO, OMC and MGM. Bhubaneswar Art Trail was the first large-scale public art project of Odisha which worked closely with the community of the Old Town. BAT was a unique experiment in the history of contemporary public art of India where 24 artists intervened in the Old Town exploring the history and memory of the place. Their works were the reflection of the collective concerns of the people. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Honourable CM Shri Naveen Patnaik on Nov 18. Thousands of visitors flocked to the Old Town to see the works which were spread over 1.3 km trail.