Anne teaching Nepali children the basics of colour mixing.

Anne teaching Nepali children the basics of colour mixing.

We are a group of artists working across a range of visual and performing arts practices.  Alex Pinder (also known as Jyoti Mukherjee), actor, theatre director and teacher and Anne Riggs PhD artist and researcher.    You can read about our individual work on our websites : www.anneriggs.com and www.alexpinder.com.   But here we are going to talk to you about bringing art out of traditional art spaces and into the community.   We are especially interested in giving creative opportunities to those who would otherwise be unlikely to experience the joy, fun, challenges and expression that the arts can bring into people’s lives.

Artists in Community International was formed in 2011, although we have run projects separately and together for many years.  We created this loose affiliation of artists to bring attention to the important services artists provide in communities.  So, not only do we run projects, we also try to encourage and promote community-minded art and artisans’ practices.

Alex is teaching children clowning.

Here in Bhaktapur, Nepal, craftsmen and women have delighted us with their skills and practices in pottery, woodcarving, weaving, spinning, paper-making and Thangka painting.   It is incredible to see such a rich heritage here that continues to survive and thrive.  This heritage has been passed down through families for generations and gives the Bhaktapur community a unique and rich culture.

So this blog will start with many images and comments about Nepal, and  India where we are headed next.   As we get going, we will post stories, images, videos and papers about past projects – particularly from India, Thailand and Australia.  We hope to inspire as well as bring to light some of the issues that confront the communities in which we work.

We hope you find something useful in amongst our postings,   Anne and Alex, Nepal 2012.

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