Indiryam, the newest gallery in Kochi aims to nurture local artists
As of March 2017, over five lakh people have visited the city owing to the presence of Kochi Muziris Biennale. While this is being cited as one of the main reasons behind the growing numbers galleries in the city, it’s also pushing popular spots like Kashi and OED to expand. Indriyam, the third gallery space to open in the port town within last six months (apart from Beyond Malabar and Galerie Wildspace) has its eyes set on a different agenda. Ideated by artist and former art department head of RLV College, Sidharthan, this 500 sq ft gallery is hoping to redefine what constitutes art. Placed within one of the oldest warehouses in the region, his project is a departure from the norm with its conscious choice to stay away from mainstream elements like spot lighting.
Having spent over 35 years in the field—both as an artist and academician—this retired professor is running the space in association with artists Narayanan Mohanan, Onyx Paulose and Sreekanth Nettoor. “Our aim is to find and bring deserving artists into focus. Regional representation and elimination of unnecessary commercialisation are some of the core areas that we are looking at,” shares the team, who opened the place with Metric Forms, a group show featuring 24 artists. Highlighting the works of personalities including former Kerala Lalitakala Academy chairman C N Karunakaran and Australian multimedia artist Di Ball, the show will go on until June 30. “We have to bring diversity back to the forefront,” shares Sidharthan, adding that despite the exposure to globally-acclaimed events like the Biennale, local artists in the state are still struggling to make ends meet. Delving deeper into the subject, the state award-winning artist shares that their gallery is a community-oriented project aimed at helping the worthy artists from Kerala. “Owing to my association with the region’s art scene over last three decades, it was easy to pick out the artists who needed to be here,” explains the painter, when asked about how he went about curating Metric Forms. Apart from bringing in shows put together by critically-acclaimed art historians like P J Benoy, Indriyam’s crew is also planning to build a sculpture garden in the courtyard adjacent to the property in the near future.
At AB Salem Road. Mattancherry