near the river logo:
"The Artist’s Haven - 23rd February - 8 March 2008"
- Rob Pepper and Aimie Littler join hands with TBY to draw River Nila:
The Bharatapuzha, also known as the River Nila, is the lifeline of Kerala. In many ways, it nurturued Kerala's culture, literature, science and ethos. Malayalam language itself was born on its banks. Many famous writers, singers, folk and classical artists still live in villages that the river embraces right from Kalpathy in Palakkad to Ponnani in Malappuram district.
Says Jnanpeeth award-winning writer MT Vasudevan Nair: "For me, Nila's significance is greater than that of the greatest ocean in the world. Much of my inner and external life is associated with the river Nila and Koodallur village located on its bank. The Nila and and Koodallur together form the backdrop for many of his novels, short stories and screenplays. In a sense, the Nila has inspired and brightened Kerala's mindscape. Today, the river appears to be choked by the needs and greed of modern civilization and is reduced to a mere trickle. Its tributaries are dammed to oblivion, channels sucked out by commercial interests, cool forests on its catchments butchered to satisfy consumer needs.
Death of the river Nila would mean an insult to a long line of writers, performing artists thinkers and sages who live on its banks and nurture Kerala's spirit, thoughts and dreams - in short, the very identity of Kerala.
Pic: Artist Rob Pepper
'Near the river' is an effort to direct the spot light onto a unique river valley civilization. Into its third year, ’Near the river’ provides an opportunity for art and culture inclined travellers to sketch a river that is often the thread that weaves lives and traditions in an ageless manner.
The Blue Yonder is partnering with London based Artists Rob Pepper & Aimie Littler for a two week art retreat along the river in Kerala. While working with Rob and Aimie, the travellers will get an opportunity to work with local artists as well. The travel with local interpreters will give insights into the uniqueness of the region and the group will be capturing this through drawing. The tour will conclude with a two-day exhibition of the images captured by the travellers in one of the leading art galleries in Cochin and / or Bangalore.
As a traveller this will be a great opportunity to explore the river and its associated culture whilst becoming an integral part of the local culture. Only a group of ten artistically inclined travellers can be taken on this group. The trip starts on the 23rd Feb for two weeks. Part of the proceedings from this trip will go towards supporting Nila Foundation. Contact us for the prices and more details on this amazing opportunity.
About Rob Pepper & Aimie Littler
Rob Pepper & Aimie Littler work out of their art studio in Islington, London. They’ve been working together for thirteen years on many artistic projects from international exhibitions, public art commissions, human rights campaigns to workshops with disadvantaged teenagers.
Rob Pepper is the artist maker and is a member of the Academic Board and a Senior Tutor at London's Art Academy. He creates large scale paintings, intimate drawings and his work has adorned album & book covers. Aimie Littler is the director of the Not For Profit Organisation "The Truth Isn’t Sexy" which works on the prevention of human trafficking. When not running this she conceptually develops the artwork, edits their publications and curates the many international exhibitions they have had over the years.
Together Rob & Aimie co-facilitate the Drawing Room which has a growing following in London. These art workshops focus upon an enjoyment of the artistic process and the nurturing of a happy group. They believe the creative impulse needs to be acknowledged as an important part of ones well being and it is this philosophy that they will be bringing to the new relationship with The Blue Yonder.
© The Blue Yonder 2008