Goa Khabar: All art, expression and heritage finds a destination in Goa to celebrate life. Travelling artist, illustrator, designer and story teller, 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.
In Goa to complete his `pilgrimage’ of the State, Allen’s Goa travelogue will culminate into an ode for the land he loves very much, the `Goa Sketchbook.’
“What started as a little indulgence 24 years ago, has become my life today. I was always a storyteller, but what I have discovered over the years through these books and travelling is that I have been a nomad, a drifter, or gypsy, with many stories in my books in the form of sketches, illustrations, conversation pieces and memories. Travelling and sketching feeds my gypsy soul. 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.
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. “From understanding the quest of a nation to stand on its feet after a brutal war in Bosnia, to sketching the skyline of lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn bridge. I hope I am able to continue doing this and sharing all these stories with anyone and everyone who is interested,” Allen shares.
Publishing city based sketchbooks three years back, Allen has so far completed three cities in India, and is currently working on two sketchbooks on two cities in Germany, Erlangen and Berlin.
“The Goa Sketchbook has been playing on my mind for a decade, and I am glad I am 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,” says Allen. Capturing nuances of Assagao, Mapusa market, the bylanes of Aldona, Siolim, spots and places unknown to tourists, Allen believes an artist must share his perspectives of the world as he sees it.
Ably supported and sponsored by friend and promoter of art and culture, Mr Mohit Gupta, Founder of Velvett Homestays, Gouri’s Goodies and Post Box Café in Goa, confides 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. Hence an exciting opportunity to be part of when Allen discussed it with me,” Mr Gupta shares.
Launching Casa Philomena, a hidden gem in Calangute to give world travellers an opportunity at laid back homestay experiences without the hustle of city life, Mr Gupta is an avid traveller and food aficionado himself, and loves Goa as passionately.
For art collectors, curators and buyers, earlier works of Allen Shaw’s Goa Blues – a retro poster style paintings in watercolour — will be available for viewing and sale at Gouri’s Goodies Café (housed within the compound of Casa Philomena, Opp. Hotel Viva Calangute, Naika Vaddo, Calangute, Goa. For inquiries, call XYZ