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After Amphan, artists rally around

When it comes to supporting a cause, painters never shrink away from donating their work as a generous form of charity  

Watching from afar and unable to help immediately was deeply troubling for writer Ina Puri, as Cyclone Amphan raged powerfully across the city and the villages in West Bengal. Once the storm finally abated, realisation dawned that it would take a very long while to get back to normal, to rebuild lives and livelihoods and re-establish everything that was lost.

Artwork by Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya

Feeling the need to help, Puri conceived ‘Stand with Bengal’ along with MASH and Kolkata Centre for Creativity, with a plea to the people willing to help to come forward and plan an initiative that would raise funds for Bengal.

“Like me, friends and members of the art fraternity based elsewhere all felt we had to help as individuals and as a community. The artists we reached out to all agreed to either donate or contribute to the cause and so were able to begin our enterprise. We agreed together that the net proceeds would be donated to Ramkrishna Mission, Kolkata who were already doing such outstanding community service,” says Ina Puri.

With over 50 artworks on display at the online fundraiser, it features works exploring various different formats, languages and styles, many of which have been sold already.  The lineup of artists who have contributed for the cause includes prominent names like Anita Balu, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Geeta Bhairya, Jayasree Burman, Jogen Chowdhury, KS Radhakrishnan, Manu Parekh, Manjit Bawa, Paresh Maity, Renu Devi, Rita Shyam, Soma Das, Venkat Shyam, Waswo X Waswo, Yashpal Baranda to name a few.

Bronze work by K.S Rashakrishnan

“The destruction caused by Amphan has been devastating for a community already battling a global pandemic. MASH in conjunction with Ina Puri and KCC seeks to bring together the arts community and foster healing through the power of art. The fundraiser seeks to bring forth the positive power of creativity to provide the essential support needed for the countless communities affected by the cyclone in West Bengal,” says Shalini Passi, founder of MASH.

The works can be viewed on the official website of MASH and Emami Art till July 7

(Cover: Rita Shyam’s work titled Deep Sea Creatures)