We walked into the spacious home and workspace of artist Sharmistha Ray on one sunny Sunday afternoon. The walls were lined with her creations, the highlight being City of Eros, an ode to the city of Mumbai, representing femininity and merging the sacred and sexual. Her entrepreneurial venture, Bellevue Brunches, has been established with much the same thought in mind. A cultural salon to engage the city’s erudite into gatherings and discussions on the artistic scene in the bay.
Ray has made both New York and Mumbai her home and has imbibed the artistic sense of both culture hubs. She claims to be equally influenced by both cities but also states that the New York art scene is grander compared to ours. “In New York, there’s much more happening and there are numerous galleries. While here, everyone knows everyone else. It’s a relatively smaller world.” She found the need to have an artistic outlet in the suburbs adding that South Bombay already has an established culture regarding art. The illustrious folk of the city including Gieve Patel, Tasneem Mehta, Ranjit Hoskote, Nancy Adajania, Hema Upadhyay, Devita Saraf marked their presence at the event.
An artist, writer, curator and TED fellow, Ray has also co-founded the online blog Politics of Art focussing on the Contemporary Indian art scene.
In the pipeline are many more exhibitions, screenings and artistic displays and possible interactions with the artists involved.
The current exhibition is on until Saturday, October 11. (Bellevue Brunches, 301 Makhan Dham, 11th Road, Khar West, Mumbai.)