During the socially distanced months of Covid-19 lockdown, the name of the party game was thinking out of the box and going virtual. For London-based artist Sangeeta Weatherley, it meant running art workshops via Zoom as a way of giving back to the community as she felt people needed some form of creative therapeutic outlet.
“Post lockdown, there has been a boom in ‘experience events’. I have been offering workshops to private groups, corporates and private one-to-one sessions,” says the force behind Sans Art – a studio that has grown exponentially in the last few months to expand out of her living room to Chiswick in west London.
“It provides the right ambience for me and my clients to unleash our creative side,” she notes.
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The self-taught artist from Hyderabad has a background in IT, having worked for multinational companies both in India and the UK. Her passion for art was kindled when she came across a group of watercolourists in the Pune University campus in India.
She reflects: “I moved to London in 2012 with my family. I gave up my career to be a stay-at -home parent, which allowed me to visit galleries and attend painting classes. Making art helped me connect with myself and with others.
“I practice Yoga and believe art is a form of meditation. My vision is to reach out to people and reintroduce the joy of sketching and painting in a fun and relaxing environment.”
Now, the artist has found that more and more people are attracted to the concept of “Paint Parties” as it helps them get in touch with their creative side. She provides all the materials and the theme, so the partygoers can simply immerse themselves in the art and also have a finished piece of artwork to take home.
“I have a strong passion for working with people and can host sessions for people of different ages and abilities,” shares Weatherley, whose next Bollywood gig is coming up on May 28 with Bombay Funkadelic.
“Post-pandemic, the demand for our Bollywood-themed events has almost tripled. We've gone from hosting Bombay Funkadelic parties with 250 guests to over 600 in attendance,” says Jaspreet Bajaj, Founder of Bombay Funkadelic, behind Rangeela Party ‘n’ Paint in London this weekend.
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According to the bespoke events planner, young non-resident Indians (NRIs) and UK-born South Asians have been keen to get back out and socialise, particularly the university students. While the young 18-30 crowd want straight up club nights and boat parties, the older 30-45 demographic are looking for smaller, more unique experiences.
Bajaj adds: “For example, we've recently partnered with the Big Shots Golf brand in the UK to create an evening where guests can play a game of golf at their brand-new driving range and then enjoy a Bollywood party in their sports bar.
“We're also excited to have our first ever Paint and Party event where we are mixing creative art and music vibes. Guests can enjoy a cocktail in one hand and paintbrush in the other, with London-based artist Sangeeta Weatherley and our resident Bollywood DJ, Shai Guy, hosting the evening. This smaller event takes place in a newly-opened Indian bar/restaurant.”