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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Tanvi Kant

Residency at Arts Reverie

week four

Posted by Tanvi Kant on 17th March 2008


I revisit the gufa and the school of interior design again, the natural beauty around the buildings is something I don't get to experience as often as I would like at home.

The pink flowers I love, and I really should remember their name by now. I have photographed them every time I have been in India. I saw a woodpecker and more chipmunks. I think I will never cease to be excited to see them along with the camels, elephants, cows, cats, dogs, donkeys, parrots, peacocks and especially monkeys! I feel slightly different at the small and speedy lizard like creatures, flying beetles, and giant ant like insects in the monsoon season...

Louis Kahn

Our next visit is to the Indian Institute of Management IIMA, spurred on by two artists/photographers friends also staying at arts reverie. The institute has one of the highest standards in the world and having experienced such a place, it seems fitting that this is so.

It certainly has a presence, the scale of the building is quite dominating, but with space flowing in and around it. There was an underground tunnel as a walkway between the new addition and the original campus. This walkway displayed a series of images about the design and build. Generally, its quite sparse and a little cold feeling, too much brick, too large, at times too dominating, but I still like something about it. Maybe it's the boldness of it.


My evening at this lovely restaurant and the Utensils Museum next to it will certainly not to be my last visit. This traditional Gujarati styles of decoration and mud huts as well as low wooden tables with mats for seating was charming. The dim lighting and sounds from performing musicians and puppetry added to the magic, as well as rope swings.

Whilst waiting for our table we visited the Utensils Museum which was within a beautiful building with intricately carved wooden doors and interesting artefacts running along the side walls. Inside, the galleries are set around a central courtyard where there is a small shrine lit up beautifully. The objects on display were displayed in groups, not minimal nor fussy. There was not much written information, but who needs it for indulging in the visual treat that it was. The shapes, forms, scale and collective displays were a feast for my eyes! The cast metal, highly decorative forms and intriguing implements, I found delightful. Photographs depicting how they were used in real life rural Gujarat reminded me of the childhood memories described to me by my father about his grandparents.

The meal was an amazing experience reminding me a little bit of the way food is served at weddings back home but with more drama! The men wore brightly coloured costumes and in chant like method called out what each of them were serving. The food was was served on the lovely stitched leaves and the bowel too - it was leaf set on a mould to serve as a deep bowl for kudhi. The food had quite a bit of chilli, I was able to identify the not so chilli condiments and was impressed by the diverse range of dishes and sides....can't wait to go back!


I visited a great outlet which had the most beautiful fabrics used in very wearable dresses and sarees. I find that I have grown much more sensitive to fabrics starting from my last visit to India the year before. I've been learning about fabrics by experiencing them through their weight, touch and wearability. I can definitely know when I see things I do not like the quality of and I'm always thrilled by what I do like, almost can't get enough of it! The textile and craft tour last year and spending this year seeing more contemporary uses of textile has really begun to make an impact. It has been a learning process, more of discovery and awareness than actual learning of the technical aspects. I am not at all that knowledgeable in textiles, but I feel very much like wanting to express myself through them much more than I have so far.


In the evening our local tailor came, we all brought out fabrics and samples of clothes wanting to be copied, or repairs - which I needed to shorten my linen trousers. I wish could use sewing machines to alter or make up items myself. I've always had bad luck with them, I came to the conclusion at college that we just don't get on. So its hand stitching I prefer.

Manek Chowk, Ghar ni Vad

I failed at trying to understand directions in the pol through the narrow residential streets to the market area. I was on a mini mission to find some fabrics and instead of just being shown from the end of the street, one of our staff here accompanied me on the whole trip. I was very grateful as I would not have been able to get the materials I needed, nor make the enquiries I was trying to make without his help in such a short time.

In a jewellers I was trying to ask about the fine wire again, but I wasn't sure about returning again the next morning to purchase it. As I didn't really know what I was going to do with it exactly. However, I can follow this up later.


Feeling a little bit slow...not sure where I am going with things, I need to set up a base somewhere in the house, instead of moving around. I've been sketching and making notes. Lots of thoughts running through my mind, some recurring lines of thought. There are layers of ideas and only a few are really going to be significant for me. Its up to me to clear out the excess and focus on a defined outline of what should be taken forward.

The time spent thinking is not just about this residency, but also about my practice in general. I am still very much at the beginning, and just need to decide on a few things and let the rest just progress naturally as it has done already. I know very well that things can't be forced. Achieving a balance is still quite far away, but its my ultimate goal.


Anne, my artist friend on the residency here with me is recovering after surgery. We both spent three nights in a small private hospital, with a whole mix of emotions and thoughts rolled into the whole experience. I'm sure Anne has a lot to more to say on this. I can only say here that we are very pleased with how everything was dealt with and I am sorry that Anne has had to deal with the symptoms for so long in the UK, only to have such straightforward running of tests, diagnosis and surgery in a matter of three days from initial discussion with a GP here.