Anything can change your life, and in that sense, art is a powerful tool, as it is everywhere these days.
In Auroville, Southern India, 15-year old Aloe watches a movie about world famous photographer Sebastao Salgado at Cinema Paradiso with her parents and younger brother.
Although the individual portrayed in the movie is from a different place and time, he has much to say to young Aloe who is mesmerised.
A couple of years later, she takes online classes in Journalism from Berkeley University.
Because art is everywhere, it does not mean it is well noticed and integrated. But when it touches us in a subtle way, it can open doors to sparks and acts of achievement.
This is the purpose of Centre d’Art, an elegant building located in the Citadines community. created and founded by the photographer Dominiqiue Darr who passed away last December, and adorned by the sculptures of the late architect and aesthete Roger Anger, Centre d’Art is first and foremost about beauty.
But the manifestation of beauty is not enough, it reaches its true purpose if it triggers a response of the audience.
So if Centre d’Art started as a gallery, it is slowly evolving to much more than that, meaning it is transforming to what Dominique Darr wanted it to be…..a real Art Center.
First, it will not only continue to cater to Aurovillian artists with their ongoing works, but also to national and international artists, in an equal ratio.
But through the usual static aspect, it will also involve a dynamic element. Instead of transporting audiences to faraway places, Centre d’Art, in collaboration with the artists, will develop programs and workshops that address the local needs in Auroville, especially concerning education.
Education both for the young and the young at heart is one of the best way to give to the community. Teaching artists have high expectations and give both student and teachers numerous opportunities to reflect on the world and improve it.
This new season in Centre d’Art already promises to be interesting in its metamorphosis aspect, with new exhibits from local Aurovillians mixed with workshops, but also with the presence of two well-known and impressive national and international artists.
In this perspective, it could play a critical role in the development of art in Auroville, and it could also involve new audiences by developing non-traditional scenes, one of the main example this year being the venue of Auroville film festival in December.
The spotlight will be on movies and Kino Kabaret, but it will also intermingle with touching and non-conformist local art, the whole setting promising to be the center stage of an explosive stimuli to mind and emotions.
Centre d’Art or Cinema Paradiso, cinema, photography, painting or pottery…..when you allow individuals the opportunity to experience art and experience themselves in the act of making art as well, that’s how you really transform life and the world.
Chana Corinne Devor for AVArts.