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Sketching Goa

Berlin-based artist Allen Shaw is all set to release his latest travelogue, the ‘Goa Sketchbook’. NT BUZZ details


Travelling artist, illustrator, designer and storyteller, Allen Shaw based in Berlin, Germany, has been feeding his gypsy soul over the last 24 years, sketching his view of the world, and all the beauty it shows him through its people, nature, culture, and way of life.

“What started as a little indulgence has become my life today. And when I flip through the pages of my travelogues, I see myself in conversation with spaces, places and people who walk through these pages,” shares the 47-year-old artist.

Indeed, his quest for discovering new places, cultures and people through his sketchbooks has taken Allen from the majestic heights of the Himalayan range in Leh to the rice fields of Wajima in Japan, from the sun-soaked beaches of South France to the small islands of Croatia. From the grandeur of Gaudi’s architecture in Spain to the colourful people of Kutchh. From the nearly postcard-perfect landscapes of Switzerland to the streets filled with history in Poland. From tracing the ghosts of the communist past of Hungary and Russia to quaint little villages in Italy. From picking up stories in Soreditch London to being on a floating raft in Finland and doing island hopping in Greece. From painting themes from a quiet little German city called Erlangen to covering the mood of Berlin.

Publishing city based sketchbooks three years back, Shaw has so far completed three cities in India, and is currently working on two sketchbooks on two cities in Germany, Erlangen and Berlin.

And the artist is currently in Goa to complete his ‘pilgrimage’ of the state. His Goa travelogue will culminate into an ode for the land he loves very much, the ‘Goa Sketchbook.’ In fact the artist discloses that the ‘Goa Sketchbook’ has been playing on his mind for a decade, and he is glad that he is finally doing it.

“The sketchbook is not just about the sketches and illustrations which I do on this visit, but it’s a culmination of experiencing different aspects of Goa for over a decade in various sketchbooks. It’s like a report from a pilgrimage to this exotic land which has been an ongoing relationship, a book in the making for the last 12 years. I keep coming back to Goa,” he says. The book captures nuances of Assagao, Mapusa market, the bylanes of Aldona, Siolim, spots and places unknown to tourists.

Ably supported and sponsored by friend and promoter of art and culture, founder of Velvett Homestays, Gouris Goodies and Post Box Café in Goa, Mohit Gupta confides that Goa’s art and culture has fascinated him for a long time.

“This collaboration with Allen is an attempt to create a narrative towards local participation, to integrate, preserve and protect the state’s ethos and cultural identity. The book is an attempt to showcase Goa’s true spirit, since I strongly believe culture must be preserved for posterity, and art is a facilitator to create a narrative,” says Gupta.

“I hope I am able to continue doing this and sharing all these stories with anyone and everyone who is interested,” adds Shaw.

For art collectors, curators and buyers, earlier works of Allen Shaw’s ‘Goa Blues’ – retro poster style paintings in watercolour – will be available for viewing and sale at Gouri’s Goodies Café, Calangute.

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