Vida Heydari, the founder of Vida Heydari Contemporary (VHC) – an art gallery and restaurant in Pune, has been making significant efforts to encourage contemporary art and artists in India. As an industry veteran with over 14 years of experience, Vida has curated some of the best global art events. VHC, which presented three of its artists at the FOAID (Festival of Architecture & Designing) held in Mumbai, has taken inspirations from the world around us. Renowned artist M. Pravat highlighted the reflecting urban landscapes while Vaishali Oak brought out the visage of a colourful garden via textile. Further, Vivek Vilasini through his art explored the path of light during the quarantine of the pandemic.

Expressing her thoughts on VHC, Vida shared “VHC is using the restaurant to build a communal space around the art gallery, bringing together artists and art lovers to share their interpretations and engage in a wider dialogue”. In a conversation about Covid19 and the transformation of art, Vida throws light that there were undercurrents of change even before the pandemic but the pandemic worked as a catalyst. She opines that lack of physical access to museums and galleries pushed investment into online viewing rooms, 3D gallery access, engagement via social platforms, etc. Though, the physical experience of being immersed in art at a gallery or museum cannot be fully replaced, and audiences are coming back for the same. She believes that the changes driven by the restrictions of the pandemic are also going to stay, and the physical and virtual will exist in harmony.

Sharing her perspective about the future of art and artists, she stated that the future looks to be more immersed in technology, not only in terms of accessibility of art but also as a medium for creating art. She also speaks up about the importance of artist-audience engagement. “The type of art plays a major role in engagement. Also, galleries and museums have to provide an environment for dialogue between the artist and the audience. VHC does art talks, literary events and other forums to allow amateur artists and audiences to learn from the masters. Having a restaurant or café makes the gallery a hangout for people to exchange ideas, and have deeper conversations on the subject while being in a less formal environment.” Vida concludes.