Indra’s Awarehouse is a 5,000-square-foot DIY art space located 20 minutes from downtown Austin. That’s 5,000-square-feet full of imagination and liberation, where wacky and wonderful ideas are allowed to take root, and grow into a plethora of multi-sensory experiences.
Evolution of Indra’s Awarehouse
Indra’s was established in 2012 by Randi Southard, a multidisciplinary artist. A Texan native, she has lived in and out of Austin. Her most recent stint, which has lasted nine years, started when she discovered the perfect plot of land to build her warehouse. Since then, Indra’s has evolved into an arts community that has a life and dazzling momentum of its own.
“Here, we love to take somebody’s passion and allow it,” Southard said, “and see if we can get their creative juices to flow, even if it hasn’t been done before.” This atmosphere of collaboration has allowed unique events to take place, such as hula hoop workshops, aerials classes, group meditations, and body painting.
Austin’s first dance improvisation festival happened at Indra’s. Full days of dance classes, food, and performances were provided over the course of a weekend. On another occasion, Indra’s collaborated with Synesthesia Cinema, a performance troupe. For this event, the audience began by watching “The Jungle Book” projected on a 2D screen. Then, live actors, dancers, aerialists, and musicians took over the room, involving and interacting with viewers to provide an exciting 3D experience.
Southard emphasizes the importance of conscious events. “It’s not easy to be selling art and not be selling alcohol,” she said. “Because I don’t want to sell alcohol.” She prefers the focus to be on the art itself, on the genuine connection between humans, and the natural joy brought about by dance and freedom of expression.
A Plot Of Land and a Dream
When Southard found the land on which to build Indra’s, it was a raw field of potential. The only standing structure was a small residential home with a tin roof. The entire warehouse itself was built from scratch as an addition. Today, the original quaint home serves as a welcoming foyer, filled with art and lush houseplants. The house kitchen is still there and available to serve guests.
The space continues to be a work in progress, as improvements are always being made. Southard’s next project is gathering the resources to insulate the ceiling. In winter, the hours the warehouse is available for use change drastically, depending on how harsh the cold is.
In addition to all of the technical improvements, Southard gleans continual inspiration from other DIY art spaces. During a recent trip, she visited the House of Yes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and took notes on how their creative team brought ideas to life.
The Intersection of Disciplines
The principles behind Indra’s Awarehouse have multiple inspirations beyond the circus arts and DIY art. Southard considers herself not only an artist, but also a researcher. One of her main interests is new energy technology, though she isn’t an engineer. Her forays into the world of science provide constant revelations: physics and geometry continually inform her work. Her life as an artist has bloomed as she interacts with people in other fields.
“The world is in this heaving stage, and we need the artists and scientists and farmers to work together,” Southard said. “We need spaces like this where we can have freedom of thought–talk about issues and communicate.”
➡️ Keep reading: Embrace Your Hula Hoop Style at Austin Flow Arts Event
Regular and Upcoming Events at Indra’s
Indra’s is kicking off 2019 with bi-weekly ecstatic dance events on Thursdays and Sundays. If you’ve never tried ecstatic dance, it usually consists of positive, uplifting music. The dance floor is a non-verbal space, and you have the freedom to get as weird as you want without judgment.
It is an exploration in respecting other dancers’ space, as well as letting go of the self-consciousness we might feel in scenarios that involve dancing. It gives participants a space to express whatever emotion they might be feeling, whether it is grief, joy, or anything in between, and can be a highly personal experience.
Indra’s also hosts regular free Saturday morning yoga classes as a service to the community.
If you’re looking for a unique Valentine’s Day experience, Indra’s is also hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner, performance, and dance party, complete with live music and aerial acrobatics!
7904 FM 969 — Website
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