Art residency opens in Fort Kochi with a performance space that overlooks the sea
The new space intends to promote traditional forms like Kathakali and Kalaripayattu
Overhanging branches of old trees are a significant part of old Kochi’s tranquil ambience. When Kochi Muziris Biennale nested itself underneath the green canopy, art in the state endorsed the importance of trees. Banyan Tree art residency follows the same trail by setting itself under the boughs of a sprawling tree near the SNC Maritime Museum.
“I wanted to revive an interest in our native performance and martial art forms like Kathakali and Kalaripayattu. We’re tying up with Ettumanoor-based Sreepathy CVN Kalari to set up workshops and performances in our space,” says journalist-turned entrepreneur Sunil Kumar.
Spread out over an area of 6,000 sqft, the three floored residency rises to the sky alongside the tree. Eight rooms are divided between two floors, with common spaces and balconies on each floor opening to a view of the entwined branches. While these hallways offer ample space for exhibits, the two-week-old venue also boasts of a basement and sea-view rooftop area suited for performances.
“Primarily, we intend to promote local artists and artisan products. Thoppumpadi-based painter Sunil Joseph has shown a keen interest in exhibiting his works here,” says co-owner Santhosh Kumar. As the Biennale ushers in international creators who’re bound to influence the local art, this space is sure to trigger collaborative art. While the owners are more than happy to host artists from around the world, they’re currently planning to rope in a sculptor who creates bespoke wooden figures based on Malayali culture.
Rooms from `1,000 onwards