Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood,
But joy is wisdom, time an endless song.

- W. B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

 

Bodhana is a Sanskrit word that means ‘to be awake’ or ‘to expand’. We take it in the context of different facets of art, beauty and creation. Bodhana enables a process of making various purposes behind artistic creation more accessible. We aim to expand our perception of art by delving into the creative process and the constantly evolving idea of beauty. We are carefully assessing and researching transitions in aesthetic perceptions and the reasons that lead to these.

Bodhana began as an individual effort that gradually became collective and led to the formation of Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation, a non-profit organization. Our primary mandate is to work on the legacy and archive of those artists from India’s modern period who have somehow not been historicised and theorised sufficiently. Contemporary artists who have a rigorous and distinctive way of responding to history as well as the contemporary moment are also of special interest to us.

We find that the historicization and theorization of some artists and their creations were not sufficient in some cases and, in others, were coloured by non-academic concerns, or by aspects outside the realm of art history or aesthetics. This is especially true for artists who became known for their abstract or non-objective creations. We assess what gets commonly acknowledged in the public discourse about such artists. Our reassessments involve our own sensibilities, which have been shaped by years of careful looking and learning. Moreover, art history is a very contested space. The art historical role demands that claims to a place in the annals of history be assessed by an exacting set of criteria and rationally validated. Being an artist-run initiative helps us leaven such rational analysis with intuition. Our efforts are aimed at arriving at a more balanced and sufficiently nuanced narration of Indian art history.

Art has a universal as well as a specific meaning. Thus, there needs to be a way to talk about art in a humanistic, sensorial and perceptual fashion. How we see and what we see are both expansive questions that need to be understood in order to probe deeper into the possibilities of art. Bodhana traces connections between art, cognitive science, neuroscience and spirituality studies.

Bodhana wants to grow into an organisation that represents the region’s desire to be recognised for its unique contribution to modern and contemporary culture. When a region’s significant art practitioners are rendered legible to others, regional contexts become accessible for wider analysis.

We are expansive and minimal at the same time. This means that we can treat projects at the scale they demand. Our slow and diligent approach means that some projects take years to release. To engage our public continuously, we undertake multiple projects in parallel. We want to make it possible for successive generations of art students, connoisseurs and enthusiasts to engage with their art history rigorously.

Being a non-profit organisation, we regularly seek support in varied forms (financial or collaborative) to work further on our vision. Please feel free to get in touch with us at info@bodhana.org if you would like to collaborate with us.