Hyderabad artist initiates Art Yagnam
Manohar Chiluveru is on a 36-day fundraiser. The project aims to create 100 works, even if it means painting for 24 hours at a stretch
Hyderabad-based artist Manohar Chiluveru, known for his paintings, sculptures and interactive public art installations, has embarked on a project titled Art Yagnam.
The 36-day project began on September 30, and Manohar will be creating a bank of more than 100 artworks (which will be made available on artyagnam.com). He equates it to a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a virtual exhibition and other collaborative initiatives to help fine art practitioners.
“Yagnam refers to prayer and art is my way of doing it,” says Manohar, who has been painting at Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute of Telangana in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. At the end of the project, the art bank will have paintings, sculptures and digital art.
A host of activities will come up through the month to engage art patrons online and offline.
Later this week, Manohar plans to paint for 24 hours at a stretch: “An artist has the freedom to work at his pace in a studio; you can pause and correct if needed. Painting is a meditative process and when you do it at a stretch, you are guided by your intuition and spontaneity, without preconceived thoughts. I will be working on both figurative and abstract paintings in those 24 hours,” he says.
Manohar was in Milan, Italy, in February 2020 for his travel art project, Odyssey. He returned to India in March before the travel restrictions came into effect. He observed how the pandemic brought the world to its knees, forcing everyone to halt and reassess their priorities.
For the bigger picture
A painting by Manohar Chiluveru
Like several others in his fraternity, Manohar responded to the lockdown by working on a series. He thought of Art Yagnam as a meditative, creative process through which he can metaphorically stand in solidarity with COVID-19 frontline workers; raise funds for NGOs and help other fine art practitioners hit by the pandemic.
The list of beneficiaries hasn’t been finalised: “I am in talks with organisations. I wanted to begin the art project so that a bank of paintings can be created. Even if I want to help curate a virtual exhibition to help other artists, I need initial capital. The best way to raise funds is by creating new artworks and selling them,” he explains.
With the funds he raises through Art Yagnam, Manohar plans to organise an international virtual exhibition featuring the work of fine art practitioners, musicians, dancers and those in the literary field. “We will be finalising a website outlining the details of this exhibition soon,” says Manohar.
Art Yagnam will also support publication of a book, Earth Reboots, by Netherlands-based Kriya Art Foundation.
The book will document why art and creative expressions matter during a pandemic, and will involve contributions from 360 artists and writers.