KOCHI: People should get free access to art spaces such as musueums, theatres and other cultural events, so that they can develop an affinity towards contemporary art and explore its possibilities in India, said Rob Lynes, director British Council Division, British High commission.
Rob Lynes was in the city to support four British artists - Hew locke, Mona, Hatoum, Martin, Creed, Mark Wallinger and Anish Kapoor- who are participating in the second edition of Biennale at Fort Kochi. “In India, entry to theatre, cultural events and museums etc are charged. In order to popularise contemporary art and mobilise funds to sustain the art culture in India, people should have free access to art space. The sustenance of art is possible only with the backing of art lovers and through their financial support. For instance, thousands of people attend the Jaipur Literature Festival only because the entry is free. Fees should be imposed only after the people get a taste of contemporary art,” Rob told ‘Express’.
According to him, India is yet to derive a mechanism to mobilise adequate funds from different sources. “In UK, we too faced a similar situation, and to tide over the financial crisis, we adopted a ‘lucky draw’ system, for which the UK government allowed national lottery fund. We received 1.5 million pounds from lottery funding and it benefited the people too. Usually, these funds are used to bolster contemporary art forms,” he said.
“India should develop such a mechanism to generate funds if it intends to develop platforms to showcase its art and culture to the world and also to bring international art forms and artists to the country. In UK, we have a mixed economy of government, private, philanthropic, corporate and trust funding. The support of corporates, governments and other organisations is essential for the sustenance of art in India,” he said.
Rob lynes is being accompanied by British art curator and critic David Eliott and director of Tate Modern Chris Dercon to support the Muziris Biennale.