Cumbarjua-based Shivaji Mukund Shet has been recently awarded the Senior Research Fellowship by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, New Delhi for his research on the Indian oleographs of Raja Ravi Varma. In conversation with NT BUZZ Shivaji shares about his journey in life and art
VENITA GOMES| NT BUZZ
While there are many who make art, there are others who study and research various art forms and history, Cumbarjua-based Shivaji prefers both practicing and researching. His penchant has earned him the Senior Research Fellowship of the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, New Delhi.
Through research he wishes to study the Indian oleographs by Raja Ravi Varma, used excessively for gaudy ‘calendar art’ and commodity packaging. “Traditionally the term ‘oleograph’ referred to lithograph prints painted-over in oil to resemble an oil paintings. You could say that oleographs looked similar to the originals and Ravi Varma was probably one of the first artists to make his work available not just to the elite but also to common people using his oleographs,” says Shivaji. He adds that through this study he would be comparing the quality of the work, visualisation, and technique to the latest digitalisation. “It is a two years scholarship and the entire process of selection was done in Delhi, based on the research project and the topic,” He adds.
Shivaji had earlier published and presented research papers on the ‘Role of Bhakti in Temple Culture of Goa’. He also conducted two research studies under a junior research fellowship awarded by Department of Art and Culture, New Delhi – ‘The Relationship between the man and woman in relation with Indian, Western and Far Eastern Philosophy’ and ‘The Kamasutra Series – The experimental works through various printmaking methods and the contemporary innovative printmaking in India’.
From a very young age, Shivaji was inclined towards arts, drawing and painting. Be it books or illustrations, every drawing and its detail made him curious to understand how it was done. Coming from a village like Cumbarjua – a place known for its cultural activities – he was drawn to participate in various folk dances, art and plays.
He completed his BFA in painting from Goa College of Fine Art, Panaji in the year 1999; His MFA in graphic art (print-making), from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, West Bengal in the year 2001 and PhD in graphic art (print-making), under the supervision of Nirmalendu Das in the year 2017.
Shivaji is of the opinion that students in Goa who aspire to make a career in the arts need to upgrade their skills and techniques. “Though Goa has the Goa College of Art, a government-run institution, it needs to develop itself and sketch out more courses, like diploma and post-graduation for the benefit of the students. Competition outside Goa is very tough. There is a need for artists to focus more on the quality of the work and upgrade their skills and techniques,” he says.
Shivaji has won several awards for his painting, prints and sculpture works at state as well as national and international level and has represented the country and Goa in international exhibitions, seminars, workshops and camps.