Demystifying 1 Shanthi Road
In the bustle of Shanthi Nagar near Double Road, 1 Shanthiroad stands out like a yellow oasis in a sea of concrete. Being passionate to provide a space for art in the city, it was founded by Suresh Jayaram (Former Principal of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Visual Artist and Art Historian) in 2003, with the help of the award-winning architect Meeta Jain. Named after its own address, this hidden gem is actually Ten vibrant years old - during which time they’ve broken new ground, nurtured new and old talent, and triggered meaningful engagements with visual art.
In close distance with a lot of prominent art galleries such as Gallery SKYE and Gallery Sumukha, it provides a space for people to host their exhibitions, conferences, performances, movie screenings, talks and other formal and informal events. It has also hosted art workshops for underprivileged children. It is administered by a not- for- profit trust, Visual Art Collective.
As you climb the vibrant red spiral staircase, a homely feeling washes over you. There is a gorgeous courtyard on the right with a big white swing, plants, statues and a long-standing badam tree. The rooms around this courtyard are used for art installations, as well as spaces to reside in. Enough lighting enters the rooms, whose white walls appeal to one’s aesthetic senses. The rooms further lead to another open courtyard, painted blue, yellow and white and is flanked by staircases, which further link the spaces.
The second courtyard with colourful walls.
There is a rustic look to it all, with the old windows and doors opening to new areas. The connected spaces make the installations and performances more interesting, as so much can be done with the variety of space available for use.
The second courtyard with statues and plants.
A good example of this would be the recent performance-installation ‘30213’ held at 1, Shanthiroad, which showed how text could be translated into space. Arrows lead you from one room to the other. Viewers were allowed to completely interact with the space, from eating things kept on the tables around to reading books around the area.
An example of an installation at 1, Shantiroad, titles ‘30213’.
Having hosted budding and prominent artists from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with it's partner Khoj in Delhi, 1, Shanthiroad has been home to artists from every continent (and almost every country) in the world.
All Picture Credits: Seher Dareen.