It never ceases to amaze me how much I unconsciously internalise popular perceptions without even realising it. Take for instance, Mumbai’s art scene.
Till about 3 weeks back, if somebody had asked me about Mumbai’s art scene, I would have said how it was not very vibrant, unlike Delhi. Or Bangalore. Or Chennai. I might have cited the absence of good art galleries, beyond the couple of famous ones that I knew. I would have also said something about the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and then probably ended by mumbling something about not knowing much about my city’s artscape.
All I can say of the above para is that only the last line is correct — I really don’t know anything about my city’s art scene. As for the rest, I was only repeating the general impression about Mumbai’s art scene based on what I read and discussions with like-minded people.
I realised how misplaced my knowledge was when I received an invitation from Pia of Good Homes India to participate in a blogger art trail (essentially a guided tour of 5 of South Bombay’s prominent art galleries) as part of their Public Art Week initiative. The invite was intriguing enough, but what caught my attention were these lines:
The galleries we are looking at covering are Gallery7, Sakshi art gallery, Gallery Maskara, 1/29 Studio Gallery and Art Musings. The mix is interesting and so is the art.
With the exception of Sakshi Gallery (which I had never been to), I hadn’t even heard of the other art galleries. And to think all these galleries were concentrated in South Bombay (SoBo), also known as the city’s art district. This I had to see for myself !
I had no hesitation in accepting the invitation even though it was at such short notice necessitating taking half-a-day off from work. So, on November 28th, a mixed group of 10 odd design, food, art and travel bloggers gathered at The Pantry for high tea before setting out on the art trail.