Partapur, Rajasthan- 2003
Sandarbh was a context for artists to meet and initiate creative processes in alternative spaces. It was a unique residency initiated by artist Chintan Upadhyay, with his cousins Lochan and Yatin Upadhyay, in their home town of Partapur, in the Banswara district in Rajasthan.
Being an artist led initiative, the aim was to facilitate site-specific public art and community art processes; and create a hospitable environment for the people from the village to meet and interact with the artists, and participate in dialogue through workshops, and non-formal interactions. By encouraging the participation of locals in contemporary art practices, Sandarbh not only aided in the broadening the horizons of the people from Partapur (and around), but also helped a lot of artists expand their ideas of life, by the interactions they had with the communities around.
The functioning of the programs was facilitated by volunteers, many of whom also participated as artists in residence. Basic lodging, food, and a studio space and some production support was provided, and artists were encouraged to secure funding through other grants for all other support.
Artist Shreyas Karle ventured into Sandarbh as a volunteer, and went on to direct the program for almost 3 years. He, among others, acknowledges the impact of Sandarbh on his practice, and maybe even on his initiative CONA (founded with his wife Hemali Bhuta).
Over the years more than 400 artists (including Prasad Srinivasan, Vivek Vilasani, Anjana Mehra, Valsan, Sakshi Gupta, Juhika Bhanjdeo, Mamata M.R, Arun KS, Sashikanth Thavudoz, Maripelly Praveen Goud) had participated in various programs of Sandarbh.
Being run with the vision and funding of just one artist: Chintan, the residency waned out when he got embroiled in a criminal investigation (December 2015), and has been under trial since.