DSCF3140smallI had to travel for a brief period, in between the planning hysteria and dealing with submissions for GFest before the deadline of 29 June. Last week I was in Pune, a city in India, for a short visit (4 days).

As I was passing by a gallery where I had a solo show of my artworks in 1988, some memories demanded a revisit. On the second day of the exhibition, an elderly lady with distinguished family name (she told me she was 80+ yrs) managed to climb the difficult staircase to visit the exhibition on the first floor. She clearly enjoyed the experience & post a delightful chat, recorded it with a short verse in the visitor’s book. One line from her feedback will stay with me & which can be loosely translated as: (You) ‘have decorated the nature with the flowers & trees’ (the theme of the artworks).

Although in the context of GFest, there was no direct connection between the above story and my present work, apart from the arts. When I remembered the old lady’s visit & her acceptance of my work, I realised the weight histories can bring – both personally & collectively – and how we can help shape them with our artistic expressions. How the arts have changed the world & left an impact on the cultural norms as the time progresses.

Hope we can continue to do so through ongoing GFest events in future.

Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director, GFest – gayWise LGBT Arts Festival, May 2009