Thursday, July 25, 2024

Artists in Hyderabad turn entrepreneurs for sustenance and pave way for others

Reclining Buddha by Ranga Studio 

Reclining Buddha by Ranga Studio 
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A 10-foot Ganesha made of 13,000 brass bells was the cynosure of all eyes at a recent wedding at Ridhira Retreat, Gandipet in Hyderabad. This artistic installation has been executed by Karigar, a Hyderabad-based wedding event management company run by four animators — Mutyala Pavan Kumar, Kranthi Lingala, Naresh Boliyasetti and Abdul Gafoor — who struck a path that diverged from one that their animation degrees had paved. With Karigar, they have turned into entrepreneurs, offering art that is customised for events and venues.

Ganesha made of brass bells

Ganesha made of brass bells
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangementSpecial arrangement

It all started when Pavan sought employment at animation firms and was asked to either work for free or for a pittance there. “With an urge to experiment, we friends decided to get out of our comfort zones,” he shares adding, “Customised art is a big thing in wedding decor, it also provides us with entrepreneurial opportunities.” Now Pavan is Karigar’s creative director. 

Pavan Kumar

Pavan Kumar
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Also buzzing with energy is a group of young sculptors who found pleasure in entrepreneurship to help themselves and their juniors. “Art has found new vistas in Hyderabad with growing enthusiasm for artistic landscapes, home interiors and common areas in luxurious gated communities,” says Ranganadh Komari, an MFA graduate who established. Ranga Studio nine years ago.

His sculptures, including a deer, giraffes, flamingos and a reclining Buddha adorn Aparna Serene Park at Gachibowli, Aparna Western Meadows at Serilingampally and My Home Ankura at Tellapur.  Ranganath employs around 15 people including his juniors and a few batchmates from Andhra University whenever needed for projects.

Many art students are from poor backgrounds and lack the confidence, exposure and communication skills to market their works, says Santosh Buddhi, who founded Art Tree with Murali Kampelli, Abdul Rehman, Musi Kireeti and Ganganapalli Mahesh Kuma in 2020.

Wall mural by Art Tree

Wall mural by Art Tree
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

 Santosh Buddhi

 Santosh Buddhi
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Art Tree does commissioned pieces across public spaces in Hyderabad. A team of 25 members — mostly students from Jawaharlal Nehru Fine Arts and Architecture and Fine Arts University and the University of Hyderabad — has painted murals on the walls of public spaces in Khairatabad, Masab Tank and Film Nagar. While the sculpture of a man on his knees (made of pebbles) with a bird about to fly from his hands is a landmark in Banjara Hills, a helping hand statue (made of nuts) and a mural are at Warangal and Khammam.  “We want this initiative to be like a canopy providing shade to many students and budding artists so that they can make their dreams come true.”

After a Master in Fine Arts degree from Hyderabad Central University in 2015, it was the struggle to earn a living that pushed Santosh and his friends to create Art Tree. The team are thankful to P Pravinya, Warangal district collector who as south zonal commissioner of Khairatabad gave these youngsters the opportunity to create murals on a wall in Khairatabad. “Our individual struggles faded away when we can help each other as a team ,” says Santosh. While he works as an art teacher at Keystone International School in Puppalaguda for a steady income, Kireeti acts in small roles in films.

Young emerging artists struggle to earn a livelihood from art. Often, they have to wait for an art dealer, collector or gallery to pick up their work. Even when it does get picked up, low income is a major issue many of them experience. “Our works are appreciated but not bought,” smiles sculptor Mohd Gous Pasha, founder of Zastra Art Studio. Hailing from Mannanur village , Pasha dreamt of creating a niche with his sculptures. When work he was commissioned to do earned him a paltry ₹500, he launched Zastra Art Studio and took up commercial projects like the interiors of hotels — Art Cafe in Vanasthalipuram,  Vintage bar and restaurant at RTC X roads and decor for children’s bedrooms at Rajapushpa’s residential ventures. 

Challenges in shift

Wall mural in Art Cafe in Vanasthalipuram  by Mohd Gous Pasha

Wall mural in Art Cafe in Vanasthalipuram by Mohd Gous Pasha
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Getting concepts cleared by clients is a challenge say these entrepreneurs. ”Since we are new in the field, we sometimes spend a lot of time explaining our concepts and getting them approved,” says Santosh.  “Talent is the only investment that students have but networking and finding investment is a challenge in the initial days,” says Ranganadh, who manages to tweak client ideas to carve contemporary sculptures in clay and mild steel in his own way. 

While there is pleasure in building something from scratch, do they ever feel they have compromised on their art or killed their dreams?  “Dreams only changed routes,” laughs Pavan, who had ‘Disney’ in his email id to represent his wish to be an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. “I created a new email and dream too; my animation degree helps to visualise the installations in a 3D format. I have expanded my horizon and taken a new identity.”

Mohd Gous Pasha  

Mohd Gous Pasha  
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Pasha feels happy when his projects are appreciated. “Since I am from a tribal area, I sculpted a human head in clay and called it Lumbi; I do that for myself and it gives me joy.

Santosh perceives it differently: “Our art takes centre stage in public spaces. These spaces are our galleries.”

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