The misty town of Panchgani was the venue for 10th Art Getaway of Platform For Artists (PFA), a Pune-based community of artists that focusses on creating inter-disciplinary artwork. The event in the form of a residency, organised in association with Zostel, India’s largest chain of backpackers’ hostels, took place between August 10-12 in the newly opened container shipping backpackers’ hostel. Themed along Zostel’s eco-travel campaign #iTravelGreen, the travelling artists expressed their art forms to create awareness about eco-friendly traveling.
The Panchgani getaway provided a significant platform to urban-based artists to unwind and immerse themselves in nature. Inspired by the unique design of the shipping container made hostel, creative renditions about eco-friendly travelling stood out as the larger theme in the artwork created at the event. The artists were paired up on the first day to engage in conversations and create a fusion of art forms to meet the brief given to them.
The second day involved an immersive talk session hosted by a practising architect and designer, followed by a group work inculcating elements of design narrative and a cohesive group presentation. Four groups presented on the themes of eco-friendly travelling with an impromptu skit, a recital, poetry and graphic art as well as music composition inspired by natural elements like fire and snow.
Platform For Artists has operations across eight cities and has conducted 10 art getaways and multiple events to foster artistic collaborations and expression. “Our aim to provide an unbiased platform to artists to be able to express themselves better worked well with the uniquely designed hostel in Panchgani. The container design infused a deep sense of creativity in the participants and we saw a great amalgamation of individual thoughts in the group projects. Among the 20 participants, there were graphic designers and illustrators, tattoo artists and writers, painters and videographers. The variety of participants adds to the value of the experience as people from very different backgrounds come together to share and discuss their challenges, explore new ways of expressions and that itself is the biggest reward for us. We intend to connect these people with the right projects through our Artist Service Provider,” shared Kshitija Sarda, CEO & co-founder, Platform For Artists.
Talking about the partnership, Akhil Malik, CEO & co-founder, Zostel said, “Being one of the biggest hostel chains in the world with around 30 traveller hostels across India and Nepal, we realise our responsibility and have laid special emphasis on promoting eco-friendly travel through our #ITravelGreen campaign. As a part of this initiative, we wanted to explore the possibilities of involving a community of traveling artists with our newest hostel, uniquely designed using shipping containers, nestled in the rolling hills of Panchgani. Platform For Artists is doing a commendable work in the field of professional art by connecting people with their passion. We, at Zostel, are very happy with the results of this collaboration and would be looking forward to host more such events across Zostel properties.
“At PFA, we realised the need for a common platform for artists across the nation where they can find exciting opportunities and projects to get involved. Artist Service Provider will help them connect for professional as well as personal connections to explore their work commercially. Each getaway helps us get closer to the raw talent that exists in our country and help put obscure and interesting art forms on the map effectively,” said PFA founder Pawan Rochwani.
A bunch of young artists found the getaway beneficial to understand the mechanism of commercially positioning their art work in a competitive market. Yatharth Roy Vibhakar, a graphic design student from ISDI Mumbai who is also a self-made music composer, said, “PFA getaways bring so much value to our lives as an artist, meeting and sharing knowledge with fellow artists. I love the ambience when creative minds come together and become friends from being strangers, connecting through their expressions.”
Another communication design student from NIFT Mumbai, Srishti Bhandari, shared, “It is always a great thing to take a peek into the possibilities others are exploring. It gives you food for thought and courage to go beyond the standard and create something exquisite for yourself.”
Attending architect Joydeep Mondal summarised his experience of interacting with 20 artists said, “Their willingness and comfort with the idea of collaborating with another artists they have just met was very inspiring. We also noticed that they are open to exploring and learning through each other and are constantly looking for feedback and guidance to progress. PFA is doing a fabulous job by giving them this platform to co-create, where personal stories come out through art forms as a result of collaboration. Given the right direction, art can proliferate through eco-friendly materials and I feel this is going to hold a true value for a sustainable future.”