Here’s Your Chance To Explore Raghurajpur Along With Foreign Artists

City Lights: Culture

Bhubaneswar, January 3: Art lovers can now get an opportunity to explore the heritage village of Raghurajpur along with foreign artists. For the first time, Raghurajpur International Art and Craft Exchange (RIA/CE) in association with Trip4Fun is organising a unique exposure trip for a day to promote the local art and culture of the heritage village.

During the one-day trip to be held on January 21, the local participants from the temple city, including students and travel enthusiasts besides artists, would get a chance to engage in multiple activities, from indulging in the century-old Pattachitra making process, to engraving their names on Pattachitra, matching steps with traditional Gotipua dancers to creating art works with foreigners and gorging on local cuisine.

Raghurajpur, where every household has an artist with a studio exhibiting his creativity, welcomes a bunch of foreign artists in the month of January every year. These artists engage themselves in a month-long workshop on various art and crafts. The workshop is being conducted by RIA/CE for the past seven years.

Kshitish Das, Project director of RIA/CE shared, “Every year we organise a month-long artist residency camp where foreign artists from across the world participate. This year also, ten foreign artists are attending the residency camp to learn about palm leaf carving, stone and wood carving, Pattachitra and Tassar painting, Dhokra (Tribal metal casting), coir (coconut straw) toy making, paper maché (mask making), and ganjapa (playing card making) among others.”

Started with an objective to give a platform to local and foreign artists, RIA/CE is an opportunity for contemporary, conceptual, modern, performing artists and all art lovers to exchange their ideas and skills with the traditional craftsmen of Odisha, he shared.

Apart from learning traditional art forms, the artists during the residency programme also get an opportunity to experience some of the popular performing arts of Odisha; from classical dance forms such as Gotipua and Odissi to folk art forms like Naga, Durga, Horse (chaitighoda) dancing and fire dancing (paikaakhada) among others.

Informing about the exposure trip, Das further said, “We have been conducting the residency programme for the sustainable development of the artists of Raghurajpur. This year for the first time, we thought of a one-day exposure trip for the local participants from the temple city. It is an initiative to boost the tourism exposure to the village."

“We often go on a trip here and there but only a few of us might have visited the heritage village. This trip will be an exposure for not just the participants but also the residents of Raghurajpur to learn and share the great philosophy of the heritage village,” he added.

Meanwhile, sharing about their vision for associating with RIA/CE for the exposure trip, KK Nayak, one of the members of Trip4Fun told MCL, “The residency exchange programme of artists has been going on for a couple of years. This year, we are associating with RIA/CE to give an exposure to common people and art lovers so that they can have an interaction with these foreign artists and try to understand their thinking about Odisha and its art and culture. We would try to make the trip interesting with various activities. Since this is our first initiative in Raghurajpur, we have added limited activities but if we receive good response from people, we could add more activities and may extend the days of the trip."

A bonfire and a visit to the local betel vine will be an added attraction of the trip.

Feature and Banner Image Courtesy: The Better India