Biennale a venue of education for teachers, students

The teaching faculty and students of the Odisha’s Government College of Arts and Crafts with Kochi Biennale Foundation president Bose Krishnamachari. Photo: Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi: Beyond viewing it as a cutting-edge show, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) has inspired local, national and international schools, colleges, NGOs, galleries and other organizations to make use of the ongoing exhibition for their study and research projects.

The India Foundation for the Arts, a Bangalore-based NGO is on the forefront for art education as they visited the Biennale with government teachers from each of the 30 districts to “give them a visual treat” and to “build a new experience that would help them come out of their binaries”.

“The KMB’14 has helped us understand art in its various manifestations,” said Dr Ningu Solagi, a primary-school teacher. “Some of the works here are more playful than our students’ works. So they have been an eye-opener for us to be more sensitive to the ideas of children and not curb their creativity.”

Madhukar Mallavalli, from Chamarajanagar district, felt that the “festival-like biennale raises questions in us”. We may not get the answers immediately, but it does come gradually after much thought, said the drama teacher, who feels enriched and inspired to bring more visual aspects into his craft.

The teaching faculty and students of the Odisha’s Government College of Arts and Crafts got a “new vision of art” on their KMB’14 visit. “We see that art is not only for sale, but to be seen and enjoyed and to inspire,” said the institution’s art-history professor Devi Prasad Dash. “The biennale is an achievement for us here, and for the entire art community in India and abroad.”

The 14-member group, who came for a three-day visit, was given an introduction to the exhibition by Kochi Biennale Foundation president Bose Krishnamachari. “His cordial discussion was a great opportunity for me,” said Dash. “The students could learn about the Biennale, which aims to promote art, the artist and the community.”

For Sheshadev Sagria and Bikash Pradhan, the students from the Khallikote-based institute, it was an exciting chance to see their works displayed at the Student’s Biennale.

“The curator for the Student’s Biennale visited the painting, print-making and sculpture departments, wanting to know about our education and what we aimed to do,” said Sagria. “It was only later we realized that we were part of the Biennale. This is a happy experience. We were most fascinated by the various mediums used. We now know to see everything as art.”