BENGALURU ARTIST RESIDENCY ONE
Bengaluru Artist Residency One (BAR1), is a non-profit exchange programme by artists, for artists to encourage local, Indian and international artists and for mutual exchanges of ideas through artist-residencies in Bengaluru. It was founded by an artists’ collective from the city that had wide experience due to their frequent travels to international residencies. The exposure they imbibed from these experiences encouraged them to set up a space of similar spirit in Bengaluru. BAR1 was started in direct affiliation to the artist residency ‘Gaesteatelier Krone’ in Aarau, Switzerland which some of the founding artists had visited. The core group of artists who were involved in BAR1 were Surekha, Christoph Storz, Suresh Kumar, Raghavendra Rao, Ayisha Abraham and Smitha Cariappa. Soon others joined, with everyone working entirely on a voluntary basis. The charm of this Residency has been its personal and hands-on way of functioning.
The residency space of BAR1 was initially located in an apartment wherein for nine months artists from Switzerland would be in residence. Gradually, artists from other parts of India as well as students were invited to use the space. In 2007, Pro Helvetia, Delhi became a partner. India Foundation for Arts, INLAKS, and Khoj also came on board to fund some of the national and regional residencies. This created an opportunity for international, national and regional artists to interact and for artists from Bengaluru to travel abroad. From 2012 onwards, it ceased being a residency and instead began to focus on projects and art events. By then, more than 100 artists had been part of the Residency.
BAR1 brought together artists, art pedagogues, art students, institutions to empower the art ambience of Bengaluru. Through interactive community projects, it metamorphosed the city from a mere location for contemporary artistic practice to sites of artistic addressal as well.