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  1/9/2018A Room Without a View | The Indian Expresshttp://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/a-room-without-a-view-delhi-garhi-studios-2994628/1/9 TOP NEWS Written by Vandana Kalra  | Published: August 25, 2016 12:35 am Snapshots from Garhi Studios in Delhi (Express photo by Amit Mehra) Thirty-year-old Kumaraswamy is the proudoccupant of a studio once occupied by artistManjit Bawa. This is where the modernistprinted some of his solitary figures in flattonalities. “The studios have been a workingspace for several celebrated artists. Not Home   LifestyleArt And Culture   A Room Without a View A Room Without a View Set up in 1976, Garhi Studios in Delhi once had the country’s finest artistssharing space. Today it’s just a portrait of neglect FIR against Tribunereporter over Aadhaardata breach story    1/9/2018A Room Without a View | The Indian Expresshttp://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/a-room-without-a-view-delhi-garhi-studios-2994628/2/9 anymore. Now we don’t have many of themhere,” says Kumaraswamy on the state of Delhi’s Garhi Studios.Working on Gothic etchings at theprintmaking studio in the premises, herecalls how Bawa had established thesilkscreen facilities in the late ’70s. Therewere also those golden days, when theStudios saw artists such as GR Santosh, J Swaminathan, Himmat Shah and SubodhGupta at work. “The atmosphere was very congenial and the space was excellentfor artists. The only problem was that it was difficult to get a studio, once someonegot it, they never left,” says veteran artist Paramjit Singh, who worked in thepremises in the mid ’80s.Situated in the heart of Delhi, East of Kailash, on the land allotted by DelhiDevelopment Authority (DDA) to promote art, the historic Garhi Studios wasproposed as an idyllic working space for artists — overlooking the heritage siteGargi Zharia Maria village, and surrounded by Charbagh garden. Named KalaKuteer, it was proposed as a reasonably priced well-equipped communal studio bysculptor Sankho Chaudhuri, who was also its first regional secretary.But 40 years since its inception in 1976, the complex is far from an idealisticworking space. A victim of bureaucratic red-tapism and politics that has marred theworking of its parent body, the Lalit Kala Akademi, its basic infrastructure needs aboost and artists have been demanding for more transparent working within itsstructure. While the post of its regional secretary has been vacant for more than ayear, with Satyapal as its last occupant, the individual studios in the premises havealso been shut since April 2014 for renovation.“There are 30 individual studios and the National Buildings ConstructionCorporation Limited (NBCC) has been working on the renovations. The work isalmost complete, except for some minor repairs, such as fixing the water tank andgenerator. Once the NBCC hands over the studios to us, we will publishadvertisements to invite applicants,” stated an official from the Studios, on therequest of not being named. Padmavat gets a releasedate, set to clash withAkshay Kumar'sPadMan on January 25Photos: AnushkaSharma is back to work,gets a oral welcome onthe sets of Zero    1/9/2018A Room Without a View | The Indian Expresshttp://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/a-room-without-a-view-delhi-garhi-studios-2994628/3/9 The NBCC, however, declined that any major work is underway. “The Lalit KalaAkademi is very poor in planning, designing and paying. They didn’t pay us for somany years. Six months ago, they called and asked us to do some renovations.Currently we are doing the flooring and false ceiling. It will be complete bySeptember,” said Anoop Kumar Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, NBCC.The artists feel that the delay is not surprising. “Things happen at a slow pace.Hopefully, it’s for the better,” says Ramkumar Kannadasan. The artworklanguishing in the outdoors are testament to the lack of storage space. The graduatein art from Chennai has been working from Garhi for three years now. He adds, “Itis one of the best working spaces in India, but there is need for upgradation andadding equipment. During monsoons we struggle with saving our work andmaterial from rain water. Seepage is also a regular problem.”With rents as low as Rs 345 per month for community studios and around Rs 1,000per month for individual studios, applicants, till few years ago, waited for years forstudio space at the venue. “If you want to set up a studio, you need a huge spaceand a huge investment. A basic kiln costs Rs 1.5 lakh, how can an up-and-comingartist possibly afford that? Moreover, working together is also inspiring,” saysAnubha Jaswal. The 35-year-old ceramic artist shares the community studio atGarhi. Veteran Gogi Saroj Pal agrees. The multimedia artist has been working fromGarhi with husband Ved Nayar since 1977. “It’s difficult to have that kind of aninfrastructure at an individual level. The situation is not perfect and there is alwaysscope for improvement but one learns to adjust. We had massive scarcity of waterbut I think that is being taken care of during the renovations. We have been toldthat the renovated studios will be ready soon. Right now many of us are workingfrom makeshift studios,” says Pal.The management, meanwhile, is seeking support from veteran artists to improvethings. “We have been organising festivals, but those have not really been well-attended. From next month, we will conduct drawing competitions in governmentschools to encourage students to pursue art,” said the Garhi official.For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App    1/9/2018A Room Without a View | The Indian Expresshttp://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/a-room-without-a-view-delhi-garhi-studios-2994628/4/9 India vs South Africa 1st Test:South Africa beat India by 72 runsSection 377: Supreme Court willrevisit its order banning gay sex;societal morality changes with time MORE TOP NEWS SPONSORED CONTENT Recommended by MOST READ   Post Your Comment  Your email address will not be published. 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