Vijayashree Vijayakumar hopes to bolster Coimbatore's art scene curating affordable art at her Collective Studio
A gallery space for artists was what Vijayashree Vijayakumar initially set her sights on when she opened the Collective Studio in September this year. But since then, it has grown into a repository for art, design and culture. Starting out by playing host to Chennai-based Forum Art Gallery’s first exhibition in the city, the Collective Studio has evolved into the Collective Space—a boutique store that curates art, fashion, furniture and artisan products from across the country. “It started out as a way for my son to acquaint himself better with Indian art and its sensibilities,” shares the founder, Vijayashree, talking about her son Nithin Karivardhan who is a Master’s degree holder from the Royal College of Art, London.
Working towards educating the city about the finer nuances of enjoying and purchasing affordable art, the Collective Studio has created a roster of artists from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru, apart from those within the city that it showcases and represents. Housing paintings of varying styles from the master of cross-hatching Ashok Bhomwick to abstract portraits by city-based artist Gangatharan G, the studio is currently hosting a pop-up for the heritage works of K Hiremath. “He is ranked among the top 50 watercolour artists in the world, yet presents a range of art that is affordable to the common man.”
The inside story
Located on the Tea Estate Compound Road in Race Course, the entrance of the gallery is guided through a stairwell that showcases the work of Coimbatore-based Santosh Ramanan—11 paintings on a single panel that resembles a slightly disorganised bookshelf. Up the stairs, we push through a large blue door to enter a well-lit room that is furbished with wall-mounted display lights and showcases an array of art and live and distressed wood furniture. A 2,500 sq ft structure, the layout of the Collective Space is divided into the main and a secondary gallery area—all done up with matt-finished white walls, and a design studio sporting textured white walls that houses apparel, linen, home furnishing, porcelain and other handmade home decor. “We also have an additional room that we use for workshops and classes.” With new pop-ups and events planned on a monthly basis, Vijayashree tells us that an ‘art from waste’ workshop and another exhibition is in the works.
Open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm.Pics: U Rakesh Kumar