Monotony is a creative soul’s biggest enemy. Artistes often find themselves staring at a creative block, which can most likely be broken by a change of scenery or by being surrounded by other creative minds.
Fortunately, India is home to many hidden gems where a person can find all the solace and inspiration they need to embark upon their artistic journey. So, whether you’re a writer looking to get started on that book, a painter waiting for inspiration to strike or are just feeling burnt out, head to these fabulous retreats to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Art Ichol, Madhya Pradesh
Named after the neighbouring village of Ichol, this residency has three centres: Art Ichol (for artists), Amariya (the writers’ retreat) and the Maihar Heritage Home (open for all).
Made largely out of scrap and recycled building material, Art Ichol exudes an earthy, rustic charm that inspires to create. Artists are provided with complimentary basic material and access to an artist’s aid. For writers looking for stories, interaction with people from nearby villages can be arranged.
The residency is open for artists, poets and writers throughout the year.
2. Preet Residency, Punjab
Vibrant mustard fields, gushing rivers and riveting folklore—if you think Punjab is worthy of being your muse, head to Preet Nagar Residency, a quaint little space tucked away in a village near Amritsar. Preet Nagar, the village that lends its name to the retreat, was founded by famous artist and poet Gurbaksh Singh, and was often visited by artists and writers in the pre-Independence era.
The residency welcomes artists, photographers, writers, musicians and performers to work and interact, charging them nominal fee for food and accommodation. The best time to visit is between September and March.
3. What About Art, Mumbai
If heading to a remote place is not feasible, here’s a retreat right in the heart of the craziest city in India. Located in Bandra, the most coveted address of suburban Mumbai, What About Art is an artist management agency, a studio space as well as a retreat that organises exhibitions and artist interactions all year round.
Visit What About Art if you’re keen on meeting artists from around the world. You can even make it your home away from home as it offers accommodation and food at a fixed cost.
4. Craft Village, New Delhi
If you wish to try your hand at traditional Indian arts and crafts or just want to study them, Craft Village is the right place for you. Located on a farm close to New Delhi, it conducts workshops in art, design and art appreciation all year long at its sprawling lush green campus.
For aspiring artists, Craft Village offers the opportunity to learn from the best artists and craftsmen of the country at their state-of-the-art design studios.
5. HH Art Spaces, Goa
Housed in an old Indo-Portuguese villa in Arpora, Goa, HH Art Spaces focuses primarily on live and performance art with an interdisciplinary approach. It serves as a common platform for artists from around the world to come spread awareness about their own work, as well as experiment with other art forms.
Each of its residencies culminates in an open studio, where artists can perform in front of a live audience. Everyone from fine artists and sculptors to musicians, dancers and theatre artists are welcome.
Have we missed out on your happy place? Do share with us in the comments below!
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