We are happy to share the opening of Gallery Ark, which sits on the ground floor of the building dedicated to office spaces, commissioned by Atul Dalmia and Anil Patel, promoters of Rubamin Limited. Thirty-five years from its inception, Rubamin continues to give testament to its core purpose – “The Joy of Creating an Institution”.

With ‘Walter & Friends’, we invite you to experience the apparently divergent narratives of six celebrated artists, who studied together at the M. S. University, in the seventies. This show carries the special significance not only of announcing our opening, but also of building an undeniable parallel to our story. A story of sentiment. Of romanticism; discovery, both in introspect and retrospect; of struggles that culminate in triumph, and at times in failure; of collaborative evolution in creative pursuit; of courage and abandon; of the contradiction in simultaneous anarchy and symmetry; of growth – an ombudsman at times; serendipity; but most importantly perhaps, of prevailing friendship.

Arbitrary as they might seem, these are themes very relevant to the show, its comprising artists, even the building’s overarching narrative, as well as the collaborative motivations of those involved in its making; specifically, Ahmedabad based architect Aniket Bhagwat, in a unique, and largely unprecedented, creative collaboration with artist, Walter D’Souza of ‘Walter and Friends’, and of course, Atul Dalmia, who was closely involved through the process. I daresay, it is hardly contrived to describe the two aforementioned partnerships, those of ‘Walter & Friends’ and the team at Ark, in the same vein: brought together by chance events, what began in unlikely associations, stand today as rich and natural friendships.

In a conversation about the making of Ark, Aniket said, “there cannot be architecture unless there is the idea of poetry in it, and there cannot be architecture unless there is the idea of soul in it.”

In ‘Walter & Friends’, we invite you to find poetry that is imbibed with the soul of these individuals and so many more.

Walter & Friends: Being students in the Early Eighties at the Fine Arts in Baroda

Sandhya Bordewekar
Baroda, April 2017

The mood at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda was vibrant. The Emergency (1975-77) was over and out by the time many of us had got into college. It had come stealthily on the heels of the Navnirmaan student agitation that had begun in a small college in Saurashtra and quickly spread all over Gujarat. For the first time it introduced the fact of ‘mass promotion’ and though its continuous possibility was tested in the following couple of years by enthusiastic students only interested in a piece of paper with their names on it, the Emergency quickly put an end to such agitating thoughts. Post the elections, India reveled in the first non-Congress government at the Centre, and expectations ran high and out of the roof. Especially with the creative community. However, the motley crowd of strong individuals that had formed the government could not agree on much and the Congress soon came back, voted into power by an impatient electorate, also charmed by the reluctant young prince of the dynasty who wasn’t like the other one with thick-framed glasses and long sideburns and a penchant for dip-flying small aircraft...

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Episode #1, A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy not so Far Away

Nupur Dalmia
Baroda, April 2017

“Walter & Friends”. The title alludes to an informal Whatsapp group where the show was first conceptualized. Walter D’Souza’s work is showcased alongside that of Anandajit Ray, Hans Kaushik, Nataraj Sharma, V. Ramesh, and Veer Munshi, originally with no particular intent, but with the serendipitous result of capsuling a particular time in Baroda with nostalgic significance. The show’s unusual, yet endearing inception is relevant as context of what these artists, and friends, share in common. They studied together at the MS University in Baroda, in the 70s and early 80s, and were together later at the Kanoria Center for Arts, where they also met Anandajit, a few years their junior...

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Arpita Dhagat

Presently working as a Cultural Outreach Programmer with LEAF Foundation, Arpita Dhagat is a performer and performance maker, with specialisation in design and theatre techniques from National School of Drama, New Delhi (2010-13)...

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Jigar Kapdi

Jigar Kapdi, 38, is a versatile film maker from Gujarat who enjoys making films in a variety of genre. Although his works range from punchy rock music videos to subtle biographical films, one common element can be found in all of them. His films resonate with the intended target audience...

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Pratiti Shah

Art Curator

Pratiti Shah is a multi-talented young art curator. She has completed her Undergraduate and Masters degrees from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University. She began her journey in the field as an archivist for the City Palace at Udaipur. Pratiti’s chief interests lie in the influence and interaction of ancient art and scripture with our contemporary social structures.....

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PROF. PERCY PITHAWALA INTERVIEWS
ANIKET BHAGWAT




PERCY PITHAWALA

Mr. Pithawala is a professor for undergraduate and postgraduate architectural studies, was the principal of A P Institute of Environment Design in Vallabh Vidyanagar, is a passionate artist whose works have been displayed in several national and international shows, including some at prestigious galleries like Van Allen, Pratt and Cooper, and a much respected design mind, teacher and critic. He completed his postgraduate education in urban design from the Pratt Institute in New York and is presently attached with the architecture department at Navrachana University


ANIKET BHAGWAT

M/s. Prabhakar B. Bhagwat where Aniket Bhagwat is a senior partner is universally accepted as one of the significant landscape design firms in the world. With studios in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, the firm has an immensely varied portfolio of work, which includes Palava, a city of 2 million people in Mumbai, the recently completed cerebral landscapes for the Torrent Power headquarters, the to be inaugurated public park (Mumbai) that invokes the ecological and cultural spirit of the city; Devi Art Foundation (Delhi), to name a few (www.landscapeindia.net). In addition to their work the firm invests considerable time and energy in out reach programs, such as an ongoing first ever traveling exhibition on landscape narratives in India, a public park initiative in the city he lives in, a cultural outreach initiative that they are developing for Ahmedabad. (www.leaf-india.org)


ANIKET BHAGWAT

Acknowledgments

Gallery Ark, Episode #1 // Behind the Scenes:

Art - Anandajit Ray, Hans Kaushik, Nataraj Sharma, V. Ramesh, Veer Munshi, Walter D’Souza.

Creative – Pratiti Shah, Sandhya Gajjar, Bhuwan Purohit, Nupur Dalmia, Raj Shukla, Michael Homawalla, Rashmi Gupta.

Design – Aniket Bhagwat, Smruti Bhagwat, Jigar Shah, Abidali Dodiya, Prachi Patel.

Film – Jigar Kapdi, Sanjeev Shah.

Construction – Chandresh Movalia, Manishi Bhatt, Pratik Vaishnav, Dinesh Bhatt, Siddharth Patel.

Site Assistance – Dhrumil Kantharia, Apeksha Ghia.

Logistics – Manoj Sitlani, Unnikrishnan Nambiar, Rutvik Dave, Samir Patel, Ruchir Patel, Vikas Shah, Yogeenee Panchal, Vipul Shah.