The Museum of Goa is hidden away in an industrial complex in Northern Goa. It’s a treasure of contemporary local art well worth a visit. Founded by Goa artist Subodh Kerkar in 2015, it reaches out to larger audiences beyond art experts.
About half of the art works on display are by the founder – beside pieces by Viraj Naik, Bharat Dodiya, Akshay Chari, Santosh Morajkar and others – the variety of forms and art techniques is impressive: video-installations, sculptures, ready-mades, photographies and paintings are exhibited on three floors. A sculpture garden opens up on the backside of the museum, from where the view engulfs into the greenery of a Goa tropical forest.
Influences by local crafts, the coastline of the Arabian sea, beach lifestyle and the history of Goa can all be found up to various degrees in the exhibits. Christian missionnaires as well as the Portuguese colonizers left their marks in local history and have been picked up by Goa contemporary artists.
A banana bunch – a contemporary interpretation of an Christian relic – lies on the table for the last supper (in „Banana bunch in the Church“ by B. Dodyia). The impressive bouncing wooden arch (a recycled fisher boat) ships a myriad of Hindi gods to safety – a reminiscence to the animals rescued from the floods by the biblical Arche Noa (in „Goa’s Ark“ by S. Kelkar). A huge painting – the size of historic European wall tapestry – depicts an event in 1510, when the Portuguese conquered Goa from the Muslim rulers (in „Triumphant Trio“ by V. Naik).
Life by the sea is omnipresent. Materials like shells or oysters are chosen as artistic means, scenes from current Goa life are selected – as if to once more reinforce the artists local origins. As scenes of chatting fisherwomen evolve into girls with fancy swimsuits and diving goggles – traditional styles of naïve painting with their bright and colorful tableaus are pursued further and continue to influence the Goa art scene.