may 2009 programmes

 
friday, 1st may
6:30-9pm [
2nd may, 11am-7pm; 4th may, 11am-5:30pm]
“INTERSECTION:  Recent Works by Mark Ritchie and Leah Hardy”, Art Exhibition
        

monday 4th may
7 pm
"Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity - A Connaught Place special."  An illustrated talk by Sam Miller
     

wednesday 6h may
6 to 8 pm
 Mysteries of the Mind and Soul – a talk by Dr. Aarti Khosla.

friday 8th may
7pm
Sacred landscapes in India: Myths and Symbols An illustrated talk by Amita Sinha

thursday 14th  may
7 pm ‘THE LITTLE BIG THING’ Stories about Actors and The Movies

The First City Theatre Foundation OFF THE MANTLE # 27

saturday 16th may
6.30 pm ‘
SPITI through Legend and Lore’ an illustrated talk by Kishore Thukral. (with an Exhibition of Photographs from 18th to 20th May)
 

friday 15th may
6.30 pm ‘THE SONATA FORM’ a lecture in two parts by Dr. Jayati Ghosh (15 May & 19 June 2009)

saturday 16th   to wednesday 20th may (sunday 1 to 6.30 pm)
11 am to 6.30 pm
exhibition of photographs ‘SPITI ... a world within a world’ (from Kipling) by Kishore Thukral
 

thursday 28th may
6.30 pm “My journey from music to calligraphy’ a talk by Qamar Dagar and an exhibition of her work from 29th May to 3rd June from 11 am to 6.30 pm.

 thursday 28th May to wednesday 3rd June
11 am to 6.30 pm. (sunday 1 to 6.30 pm) ‘Calligraphy as art’ an exhibition of calligraphic works by Qamar Dagar

 

 

 

 

 

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friday, 1st may
6:30-9pm [
2nd may, 11am-7pm; 4th may, 11am-5:30pm]
“INTERSECTION:  Recent Works by Mark Ritchie and Leah Hardy”, Art Exhibition
        

            

There is a Sufi parable about colored water.  When strongly pigmented water is mixed with other pigmented water it becomes more brilliant.  Weak colors become muddy.  Is it possible to understand another culture, appreciate another place and experience “the other” without losing a sense of self?  How do artists work and share in an international dialogue without losing their own unique cultural identities or committing cultural colonialism? 

Leah Hardy and Mark Ritchie have returned to India annually since 2003 in the role of artists and teachers to participate in exchange and dialogue with other artists, and experience folk, contemporary and vernacular arts.  In alternate years they teach an experiential art course in Kerala and Tamil Nadu through the University of Wyoming, USA. This year, participating in Artist Residencies at Art Space India in Kolkata and working at Lalit Kala Academy/Garhi Studios have provided a context for Hardy and Ritchie to continue to deeply and richly experience India.   

Hardy’s work focuses on the place where sacred and secular meet.  Personal familial relationships become metaphors for global issues of violence, peace and cultural understanding. Employing mixed media allows materials to be chosen for aesthetic and conceptual meaning. She has found joy in experiencing miniature paintings, terra cotta temples, handmade textiles, and a myriad of metalsmithing techniques while in India. 

In Ritchie’s recent work the Art Space Garden and the imagery of the world outside the garden in the shops and streets provide the visual language for a meditation on communication and the placement of boundaries.  Lithography has been used for both its unique image-making properties, ability to generate variables and the multiple as a component in larger works.  Ritchie sources both large scale mural traditions and the book illustration in his drawings.  

For both artists, working outside familiar culture, traditions and language encourages new exploration and a challenge of artistic process and conceptual growth. 

Leah Hardy and Mark Ritchie are artists living in Laramie, Wyoming in the rural Rocky Mountains of the United States.  Both teach in the Department of Art at the University of Wyoming. Leah is an Associate Professor and heads Foundation Design and teaches Metalsmithing; Mark is a Professor and teaches Printmaking.  Both received the BFA from the University of Kansas and studied in Wales before completing the MFA at Indiana University in 1990.  Leah and Mark have been recognized and exhibit consistently nationally and internationally. 

 

 monday 4th may
7 pm "
Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity - A Connaught Place special." An illustrated talk by Sam Miller     

Delhi is now one of the world’s largest cities, a teeming metropolis with a speed of population growth unmatched by the other megacities. Perhaps because it’s also the oldest of the world’s megacities, its modern development has been largely ignored. Former BBC correspondent Sam Miller in his best-selling book, Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity’ has attempted to redress this balance. Starting in Connaught Place, he walked through Delhi, spiraling outwards until he reached Gurgaon. His quest was not the ancient monuments and the imperial buildings  but ‘the unexpected, the ignored and the eccentric’. These are the people of Delhi, the astrophysics professor, the ragpicker, the crematorium attendant, the members of the police band  whose tales help creating this original and humorous description of Delhi. 

Sam Miller talks this evening about how he begun to tread the streets of Delhi, and about his first encounters in and around Connaught Place – in which he makes some unexpected discoveries about the Metro station, the Regal Cinema, Jantar Mantar and encounters the phantom shit-squirter of CP. 

Sam studied History at Cambridge University and Politics at The School of Oriental and African Studies in London before joining the BBC's World Service. In the early nineties he was the World Service TV and radio correspondent in Delhi and on his return to the UK in 1993 was the presenter and editor off the BBC's current affairs programme South Asia Report. Later he became the head of the Urdu service and subsequently Managing Editor, South Asia. He has also worked as a reporter in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity was published by Penguin in January 2009. 

 

wednesday 6h may
6 to 8 pm
 Mysteries of the Mind and Soul – a talk by Dr. Aarti Khosla.

Meditation, Hypnosis, Reiki, Psychic Healing, Anger Management,  Creative  Visualization and many others including Freudian Psychoanalysis are techniques of mind,body and soul healing. One of these techniques is Past Life Regression analysis. This  is a technique that uses hypnosis to recover and heal what most practitioners believe are unhealed memories of the past, including in utero and incarnations.

Past life regression is typically undertaken either in pursuit of a spiritual experience, or in a psychotherapeutic setting.

Past life regression is mentioned in the Upanishads but is discussed in greater detail in the 2nd century Yoga Sutras of Patañjali.who discussed the soul being burdened with an accumulation of impressions that were part of the karma from previous lives.

In the modern era, it was the works of Madame Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, and ‘The Spirits Book’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’ of French educator Allan Kardec that brought popularity to this technique in the West. Practioners believe that bringing ‘past life stories’ to conscious awareness heals not only mental, emotional and spiritual but also inexplicable physical problems. With the publication of ‘ Many Lives Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, Past life Therapies have found a new lease of life.

In this two hour session Dr. Aarti Khosla talks of the theory and effects of the Mind on the Body in some of these techniques.and demonstrates ways of healing, dispelling fear and awakening the potential of the mind.

Dr. Khosla is the Founder of the Prerna School of Inspiration in Chattarpur, Delhi, a practicing Past Lives Therapist and a Reiki Master. She has conducted several workshops in India and abroad on ‘Mind Therapies’ and is a member of the International Association of Regression Research & Therapies (IARRT) as well as on the organizing committee of the second and third World Congress on Regression Therapy. She is currently writing a book on ‘Past Life Regression and Karma’. The Prerna School of Inspiration facilitates certified workshops on Healing techniques such as Reiki,Clinical Hypnotherapy, Aura & Crystal therapy as also Literacy and Medical programmes for underprivileged children.

 

friday 8th may
7 pm
Sacred landscapes in India: Myths and Symbols - An illustrated talk by Amita Sinha 

Landscape is a language to be read as a way of understanding a culture and society.  South Asian landscapes are rich with symbols, from the Cosmic Tree in sacred groves to cities patterned on mandalas that can be traced to archetypes universal to humankind. They express relationship with the divine, are woven into myths and traditions, and are focus of rituals and traditional practices. Valued and revered over centuries by succeeding generations, they become part of cultural and genetic memory, offering the possibility of a strong ‘charge’ when encountered in real life. Landscape meanings, complex and shifting as they are, are built upon this possibility of ‘charge’ afforded by places. The talk explores the interface between nature, culture, and the built landscape by tracing the meaning of archetypal symbols in Indic mythology, ritual space, and contemporary design practice. It will be illustrated with landscapes of the Ramayana, Braj, Sarnath, Pavagadh, Varanasi, Tiruchirapalli and other sacred sites of the Indian subcontinent.  

Amita Sinha is a Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA where she teaches cultural landscapes and heritage design. She is the author of Landscapes in India: Forms and Meanings (University Press of Colorado, 2006) and has published extensively on heritage landscapes of Sarnath, Taj Mahal, Champaner-Pavagadh, and Lucknow.  She is currently a Senior Fulbright Researcher in New Delhi affiliated with INTACH and is working on heritage sites in Delhi and Lucknow.

 

thursday 14th  may
7 pm ‘THE LITTLE BIG THING’ Stories about Actors and The Movies

The First City Theatre Foundation OFF THE MANTLE # 27

                             

As a curtain-raiser to the production of Taramandal, a play inspired by the short story 'Patol Babu, Film Star' by Satyajit Ray, The First City Theatre Foundation presents an evening of stories about actors or the movies. A compilation of incident, anecdote, memoir, or pure fiction, in some cases, the collection includes work by Truman Capote, John Irving, Katherine Mansfield, Satyajit Ray and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

 

friday 15th may
6.30 pm ‘THE SONATA FORM’ a lecture in two parts by Dr. Jayati Ghosh (15 May & 19 June 2009)

The sonata form is the most important musical form that developed from the classical period and continued well into the music of the 20th century. It is usually best exemplified in the first movements of multi-movement works.
Originally the term meant a piece for playing, distinguished from cantata, a piece for singing. Prior to the Classical period it designated a variety of forms but by the early 19th century it had come to represent a principle of composing large scale works and as one of two fundamental methods of organizing, interpreting and analyzing concert music.
The Romantic era in music accepted the centrality of this practice, codified the form explicitly and made instrumental music in this form central to concert and chamber composition and practice, particularly for works which were meant to be regarded as "serious" works of music.
The sonata has continued to be influential through the subsequent history of classical music through to the modern period. The 20th century brought a wealth of scholarship that sought to found the theory of the sonata form on basic tonal laws. The 20th century would see a continued expansion of acceptable practice, leading to the formulation of ideas that there existed a "sonata principle" or "sonata idea" which unified works of the type, even if they did not explicitly mean the demands of the normative.
Jayati Ghosh is Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU New Delhi. She was educated at Miranda House, Delhi University, JNU and obtained her Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She is the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAS), an international network of heterodox development economists (www.networkideas.org) and a founder-trustee of the Economic Research Foundation in New Delhi, (www.macroscan.org).

Her recent books are “Work and well being in the age of finance”, “The market that failed: Neoliberal economic reforms in India”, “Tracking the macroeconomy”, “Never done and poorly paid: Women’s work in globalising India. She was also the principal author of the West Bengal Human Development Report 2004 which received the 2005 UNDP Award for excellence in analysis. She is a columnist for Frontline, Businessline, Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle and Ganashakti. She is currently a member of the National Knowledge Commission reporting to the Prime Minister. She maintains an active interest in western classical music.
 

saturday 16th may
6.30 pm ‘
SPITI through Legend and Lore’ an illustrated talk by Kishore Thukral. (with an Exhibition of Photographs from 18th to 20th May)

Imagine a remote valley high up in the western Indian Himalayas, abutting Tibet, a valley that at various times in history has been part of the Tibetan realm, a valley one hundred per cent Buddhist, a valley abounding in fossils of maritime inhabitants of the prehistoric Tethys Sea, a valley with a stunning moonscape, a valley that is a world within a world. A world they call Spiti.

Sandwiched between perennially snow-capped mountains, Spiti remains largely unknown. The approach to the valley is not easy. The narrow, rough road leading to it takes one through canyons, across streams, beneath overhangs and over high mountain-passes

Tibet is barely a day’s walk away. Little wonder then that Tibetan Buddhism has flourished in Spiti for over 1000 years, a period that also saw the founding of magnificent monasteries such as Tabo, Dangkhar, Ghungri, Tangyud and Key. The mystique of the land is palpable. Spiti’s history, unlike that of Tibet, is for the most part unrecorded. Yet it boasts an equally rich heritage, among it a repository of local legends and tales.

In his illustrated talk, Kishore Thukral will take the audience on an exploration of the hidden valley, discovering en route its uniqueness and exoticism through its legends and folklore.

Kishore Thukral has trekked, photographed and researched extensively in the western Himalayas. Born, raised and residing in Delhi, he has been a member of several mountaineering expeditions and is the author of Spiti through Legend and Lore, The Chronicler’s Daughter (a novel in English), as well as short stories and plays in Hindi.. Kishore is the founder of the Dhangkar Initiative, an ongoing project that aims to link the restoration of the ancient Dhangkar monastery in Spiti with a livelihood generation programme for the local community (www.dhangkar.com). Through his efforts Dhangkar was recognized by the World Monuments Fund in 2006 -07 as one of the hundred most endangered historical sites in the world. (www.wmf.org) Kishore is also a founder-promoter of Tusita Divine Art  (www.tusitadivineart.com), an enterprise that seeks to promote Buddhist Art.

saturday 16th  to wednesday 20th may from 11 am to 6.30 pm ( Sunday 1 to 6.30 pm) exhibition of photographs  ‘SPITI ... a world within a world’ (from Kipling) by Kishore Thukral

 

thursday 28th may
6.30 pm “My journey from music to calligraphy’ a talk by Qamar Dagar and an exhibition of her work from 29th May to 3rd June from 11 am to 6.30 pm.
  

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. All the great religious scriptures of the world are ready examples of the significance attached to beautiful writing. Both Urdu and Chinese calligraphy have also developed into a full-fledged art forms. 

In her talk this evening Qamar Dagar describes how in a house full of music she was attracted to drawing and painting “Our family’s spiritual guru Amir Abdullah Khan, Mastaan Baba as he was fondly called was my first guru. He wrote “Tughras”, the Quranic verses, at an amazing speed and with magnificent precision. Each letter was evenly sized, beautifully written and with complete devotion. This experience to see him at work was precious. I remember being completely spellbound by his tremendous skill. 

He would allow me to use his tools that I enjoyed thoroughly. This fascinating process was a fabulous learning experience. 

My style cannot be slotted into a particular category. My tools are the qalams (bamboo pens), card board and of course the conventional calligraphy pens. At least these three calligraphers encouraged me to create and find my own tools. I am keen to use both vegetable and water colours and Devanagri and Urdu are the two scripts that I use my tools on. 

Alphabets are designs in their own right. I feel we have the freedom to give them our own form and interpretation and  in this culturally rich country it is normal that these two scripts should also co-exist in my work.  

I select words, poetry or expressions that are close to my heart and I believe in. I interpret them as I understand their meaning and spirit. I am fascinated and moved by the fact that a few strokes or sometimes one stroke can create a lifelike image. If the impression of flow and movement can be created then, that is music. And the same letters when designed or created with elaborate detailing can give the impression of decoration or embellishment. That is celebration of life to me. From one stroke to many, a natural process of evolution happens where the creator, the artist and the created expressions are evolving alike. This is my personal journey and experience and I am happy to share it.”

thursday 28th May to wednesday 3rd June
11 am to 6.30 pm. (sunday 1 to 6.30 pm) ‘Calligraphy as art’ an exhibition of calligraphic works by Qamar Dagar