With sluggish business activity across art galleries in India, peer support activities among the artist communities are on a rise. Creative professionals are conducting webinars, sharing each others’ artworks on social media and demonstrating their art practice through short videos online. One such initiative, called #ArtChainIndia, is launched by Delhi-based artists Ayesha Singh and Purvai Rai.
“Through this platform, an artist can share the image of their artwork on Instagram using #ArtChainIndia, and mention the title, medium, size, price of the artwork, along with a pledge of paying it forward. The price range for artwork should be kept between Rs 500 to Rs 10,000,” says Singh. According to her, through this pledge a participant promises to spend Rs 10,000 on fellow artists’ works once they are able gather Rs 50,000 total by selling their own works. “The pledge is important as it fosters dialogue and helps the community. This chain continues and it supports many promising artists, whose sale have been stalled due to COVID-19,” she says.
This initiative is inspired by Art Support Pledge, which brought together artists and art lovers across the world. Through #ArtChainIndia, artists practicing in a variety of mediums and belonging to different parts of the country can share their artwork. The selling guide is available both in the English and Hindi on the Instagram account, and Singh also plans to expand it in other vernacular languages with co-founder Purvai Rai. According to Rai, this initiative was a need of the hour.
“We were waiting for some kind of government support for contemporary artists, but most of the schemes are only for reviving traditional arts and crafts. As we didn’t want to neglect any artist, the platform is democratic and is open for both craftspeople and artists who don’t necessarily use traditional techniques.”
#ArtChainIndia encourages people to also share old works. Also, the communication pertaining to delivery of an artwork remains between the buyer and the artist. Rai further adds that this platform doesn’t charge any participating fee from the artist and the sole motive is to expand support. “Once we are pass this pandemic, we want a fellow artist to say that, ‘I was able to sustain myself in difficult times through my art,’ and not ‘I had a difficult time because I am an artist’.”