The third edition of the Indian Artists Paint Russia art camp brought together a group of artists here who painted images of the country solely based on their imagination.
Held for the first time in July 2011, the annual Art Camp has been gaining popularity among artists in the Indian capital, with the 2013 edition breaking all records with the participation of 17 artists. Indian Artists Paint Russia is being held at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC), which is jointly organising the event with the Forum of Indian Photographers and Artists (FIPA). This year's main theme is city life, with the artists being asked to focus on A Day in Moscow.
'This year, we decided to split the display: the main part includes this year's works, but next to them, you can see the paintings by the participants in previous Art Camps and those created by our guests of honour, including (Russian artist) Maxim Pridanov,' said Anastasia Khokhlova , head of the RCSC cultural department.
The camp is the second workshop in the series for Padmini Mehta and Aakshat Sinha, the latter having been granted the honorary status of its curator. He is the only participant to have been to Russia.
'Russia is an unfailing source of inspiration,' Sinha said. 'If they asked me to paint my most overwhelming impression of Russia, I would definitely paint Tsvetnoy Bulvar, where, between two busy roads, there's a park with benches and very beautiful people sitting on them.' This year, Sinha painted the fans of FC Spartak Moscow against the background of the Red Square. ‘Each city must have football fans,’ Sinha explained.
For Mehta, Russia is a vibrant country. 'People are very sweet, cooperative. That I really like.' In Mehta's painting, Russian girls enjoy a circle dance on snow-covered mountain peaks next to a pianist playing Tchaikovsky. The background features Victory Day fireworks.
Sugandha Menda learnt about the workshop from her father. 'My dad introduced me to the Art Camp. He was part of it much earlier, two years ago,' she said, admitting that the hardest thing for her was to choose something special about Russia to paint.
'But I asked myself: I have never been to Russia, so what shall I do? My father advised me to look through all the photos on the internet about the history of Russia, whatever I could find. Then we were given a few books and started painting. By that time, I realised that I had the feeling that Russia was famous for snow and its winter. Many people also told me that winter in Russia was amazing. And the architecture is something magnificent.'