Ahmedabad, Gujarat – 2009
Art Reverie, an art residency, was organized in a tastefully restored Haveli, located in the Dal Ni Pol area within the walled city of old Ahmedabad. This very contemporary space in the context of a rather traditional Gujrati neighborhood was once a space created for international artists to come together and interact with local artisans. A Jain Jeweller previously owned the Haveli. In 2009 the Haveli was bought by Anupa Mehta, an Indian art critic, and two art managers from the UK, late Jeremy Theophilus, and Barney Hare Duke. The residency was set up in collaboration with Artworks India and A Fine Line: Cultural Practice from the United Kingdom.
This space was created to invite international artists for a three-month-long residency program; dedicated to reviving the homogeneous art and architecture practices- through organizing events such as workshops. The narrow roads and close quarters of the walled city became a perfect space for artists who wish to look at history and ancient architecture to draw inspiration from. The artist’s experience was enriched through exchange and interacting with the diverse culture in the Pol area. The residency program was funded by various trusts, foundations, and academic institutions. One such exchange program with the UK was with Stephon Dixon, a contemporary crafts professor at Manchester School of Art. He visited Art Reverie in 2010; he was part of ‘the Pol Project,’ he worked to explore issues of sustainability in Dal Ni Pol. During his visit, he created several site-specific sculptures Hero, which were later displayed in the International Arts Festival 2010. Finally, the art residency allowed the youth of the city to experience new environments and raise awareness of the importance of heritage conservation practices.