The Gauda Festival: A Revival of Bengal's ancient Art & Culture
A REPORT BY SOUTIK CHAKRABORTY *
On the 12th and 13th of March, 2022, Kolkata witnessed a two-day art and sculpture exhibition at Alka Jalan Foundation, Daga Nikunj, Ballygunge Circular Road. The purpose of the exhibition was to recreate and represent the rich cultural heritage of ancient Bengal in the field of art and sculpture. It was hosted by Karu, a company dedicated to producing exquisite Indian art and craft items.
The event was titled as "Gauda: Invoking Classical Bengal'' where the art works and sculptures of the eminent artist Halley Goswami were exhibited along with Karu's thematic sculptures and souvenirs. Halley Goswami is a lawyer and painter who has been recreating the art of ancient Bengal for quite some time. The exhibition also accompanied select apparels by the designer Abhishek Ray that had a touch of Indian authenticity.
Artworks, sculptures, apparels and several decorative items were put on sale by Karu. The name of the event, Gauda was inspired by the “Gaur Rajya” or the classical age of Bengal. Halley Goswami’s paintings in the exhibition are replete with thematic borrowings from the Pala period both in style and elements. The event also hosted talks by eminent scholars and song recitals by artistes. All of these programmes were thematically focussed on the glorious past of Bengal which has been obliterated from our cultural memory due to negligence and due to the adverse effects of colonialism.