Goa exhibition showcases life, works of India's first Oscar winner Bhanu Athaiya

Visitors will encounter a rich display of Athaiya’s thoroughly preserved legacy spanning eight decades. Image courtesy: IANS

New Delhi: The 'Bharat Through the Lens of Bhanu Athaiya' exhibition, which is underway at Aguad, Candolim in Goa from December 6 to 17, offers a captivating glimpse into the life and works of Bhanu Athaiya, the revolutionary costume designer and the first Indian to win an Oscar Award. The exhibition is being organized by Princeps, the avant-garde auction house based in Mumbai.

Visitors will encounter a rich display of Athaiya’s thoroughly preserved legacy spanning eight decades. From stunning costumes and sketchbooks to family heirlooms and early artwork, this exhibition showcases the diverse aspects of her illustrious career.

Curated by Princess Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil, the retrospective exhibition dives into Athaiya’s journey from Kolhapur's princely state to her groundbreaking role in the Progressive Artists’ Group in Bombay. It unveils her evolution as the most favoured and loved costume designer in Hindi cinema, portraying her profound love and vision for India through different phases of her life.

Princess Gohil highlighted, “This exhibition pays tribute to Athaiya’s lasting impact on Indian fashion. Her designs have influenced trends that resonate even today. Athaiya was an influencer ahead of her time, creating clothes that symbolize elegance and grace, setting a new standard in terms of fashion”

The exhibition's uniqueness lies in its extensive collection of objects, offering a comprehensive understanding of Athaiya’s immense contribution to Indian cinema and fashion. Additionally, talks by prominent personalities like Zeenat Aman, sharing their experiences with the designer, promise an intimate glimpse into Athaiya’s legacy.

This exhibition aims to honour Athaiya’s legacy by ensuring her invaluable contributions are remembered and celebrated. It serves as a tribute to her unparalleled achievements and influence in shaping Indian fashion.

Athaiya won the Academy Award in the Best Costume Design category at the 1983 Oscars for her work in Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi'. She also won a BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design for the film. Athaiya is also a two-time National Award winner for costume designing in 'Lekin' (1991) and 'Lagaan' (2001). In 2012, Athaiya returned her Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for safe keeping. The iconic costumer breathed her last on 15th October 2020 aged 91 at her residence after prolonged illness.

In a career spanning nearly five decades, Athaiya worked with numerous feted filmmakers including Raj Kapoor, Kamal Amrohi, Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, BR Chopra, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, Gulzar, Ketan Mehta, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Subhash Ghai, and Ashutosh Gowariker.
(With inputs from IANS)

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