The best kind of art
The best and the most creative kind of art is the art that is personal, raw, and real. When Team Amrutam first began planning a contest around showcasing visual art on the theme of ‘Health is Beauty’, we were all very scared. “We didn’t know how we were going to run the contest, how it will turn out and so many other questions,” says Agnim Gupta, Principal: Tech & Growth, Amrutam. But when the intention is right, everything just turns out to be fine by the end.
Yash Batra, Principal: Economics & Communications, says, “The Health is Beauty Contest started as a dream that all of us at Team Amrutam has carried within our hearts. A dream to inspire creativity, to ignite and inspire our community members to build healthier lives while providing a platform to express themselves.” This vision to create a platform for artists, a safe and healthy space has always been a pillar since we started our journey.
Our aim has always been to build a loving and empowering community of bright and hard-working individuals who share a common belief system and we are happy to share that contests like Health is Beauty is definitely a step ahead to achieve that goal! The competition witnessed an extraordinary blend of visual artistry and conceptual design from artists and creators all over the world. While some photos were beautifully captured, others had a heart-wrenching backstory to them. Almost all the entries were so fresh and imaginative, it made our job difficult to choose the best among the lot!
Of the beautiful 70+ entries we received for the photography category, we shortlisted the top 20 based on creativity, innovation, and overall aesthetics along with the write-ups explaining the concepts behind. The shortlisted entries were then sent to the jurors who shared their reviews, after which we came down to the top 3 submissions!
“I guess at core, we are all just artists trying to live our dreams through someone else’s work and the Health is Beauty Contest (like our other projects - Amrutam Raag Project, Amrutam Global) was nothing less than empowering and hunting the less known but creative artists, who are too shy (maybe like us) to publicly showcase their art.” – Agnim Gupta, Principal: Tech & Growth, Amrutam
For the videography category, we received less than 10 entries and they did not match up to our expectations. We sent the entries to the external jurors and received the same reviews from them and hence, we decided not to announce any winners in the category.
The winners' side of the story
We asked our top three winners of the photography category about their experience of participating in the competition. Purva Gharat (@purvagx), the first runner-up of the contest is a photographer based out of Navi Mumbai who is in love with exploring concepts and expressing them via photography. Capturing the essence of the moment and framing it aesthetically is what she roots for.
“I was going through Nupur Singh's (@thelazyinsomniac) profile on Instagram a few months ago where I came across Amrutam for the first time. Her photographs with the products are so aesthetically portrayed that I went ahead to check Amrutam's account. That's how I discovered Amrutam,” she tells us.
Purva has always felt strongly about the issues regarding and surrounding mental health and this contest gave her the platform to express that. She also believes that Amrutam as a brand is very authentic and is all about promoting the ‘Health is Beauty’ positivity!
Health is a thought-provoking subject so the concept behind this was to create awareness and design a mental health story so good that a small picture explains the bigger picture. Purva submitted two photo series, which are explained below in her words:
- Balance: The idea behind this was to find a balance between the body and the mind. It is a set of 5 photographs depicting the journey of a human being from being lost, to finding balance, to being alive.
- Lost: This one is a single photograph depicting how technology has taken control over our minds which leads to us getting lost, forgetting to take care of our physical and mental health.
“It was challenging to come up with new ideas revolving around the idea and to frame those in a photograph, but it was equally a fun experience,” she adds. Purva also credits her success to her go-to partner Prerana (@preranapamkarr) who helped her throughout the process.
Discovering freedom in expression
Frenil Chaudhari (@frenil_03), an engineer by profession and a photographer by passion is based out of Navsari, a town in Gujarat. He bagged the second runner-up trophy and won our hearts through his photo entry on “Self-Doubt.” Frenil’s art draws its inspiration from his real-life experiences and his struggle with vascular malformation, a condition that causes terrible physical pain.
“I’ve been struggling with severe stress for over a decade now. I have deadly pain for every second of the day and the worst part is there is no cure for it. So, I grew up as a very shy, scared kid who was thinking and acting differently than others. Because of my problem, I was unable to focus on my studies and other things and that led to a fall in my self-esteem. Nobody could understand my pain and I was battling suicidal thoughts, too.”
As the pain aggravated over the years, Frenil’s life took multiple turns and he realized that he couldn’t handle work-related pressure in this condition. And the only thing that gave him any sense of solace was photography. Finally, at 23, Frenil is living his dream and doing what he loves the most – capturing objects and people and framing them in beautiful photos and participating in the Health is Beauty Contest gave him the boost he needed.
He is also deeply inspired by Gopi Vadsak (@aawaari), who he calls his idol! “One of the reasons I participated was because Gopi was one of the jurors and this way, I had the opportunity to show my work to her. I truly feel connected with her and she has always been very kind to me,” he adds.
Braving through the storms
The creator whose work was the most expressive and intriguing is Darsh Desai (@maestroshutterbug), the winner of the Health is Beauty Contest. A freelance photographer from Navsari working in Mumbai. Darsh always had a deep affinity towards photography and bought his first expensive camera at 18 with his grandmother’s help. He eventually explored multiple genres of photography and found himself inclining towards fashion photography.
“I really started enjoying fashion photography but I also wanted to break the notions and stereotypes of the society. Along the way, I discovered conceptual art and realized that conceptual-fashion photography is also a unique but rare genre of photography. Since not many photographers or artists were actively doing it, I felt like this could be a full-time thing for me.”
The reason Darsh participated in the contest was because it allowed him to share his experiences and struggles with the much less-spoken about topics like food disorders. “A few years ago, my health went on a toll and I was really struggling,” he tells us. But with time, Darsh was able to pick himself up and decided to share his journey in the form of his art with others. The title ‘Health is Beauty’ also attracted him as it delved into something deeper and nothing like the regular photography competitions. Like Frenil, Darsh too is a big fan of Gopi’s work and aspires to meet the benchmarks set by her!
Team Amrutam is super excited to be working with the top-3 artists on our upcoming projects! You will soon see great concepts and ideas come to life through these collaborations. Lastly, we extend a hearty thanks to all those who enthusiastically participated in the competition and the jurors without whose contribution the event would not have been such a huge success. We hope to organize many such competitions for the up and coming artists in the future. Till then, keep working on your craft and remember, the best kind of art is the one that is personal, raw and real!