Priyank Gothwal

September, 2018, saw Priyank Gothwal join WAA for residency he was awarded through the Inlaks India Foundation. As a photographer and filmmaker, he was interested in filming in some of the old mills of the city as he had a project in mind.

As it was proving to be difficult to get access to the old mill compounds to film, Priyank changed his project and decided to turn his bedroom in the apartment into a studio where he spent 15 days, 12 hours a day, filming a cactus plant which later turned into a mixed media installation. He was inspired by a book about boredom and chose to consciously situate himself in a space where he was forced to be bored juxtaposing himself  with the slow growth of the cactus plant. During this filming, Priyank explored ideas of the passing of time, temporality and what happens in an artists’ subconscious while working on long durational projects. Priyank created beautiful graphite and charcoal drawings as a result of this time consuming process which he also displayed in his studio.

During his residency, he had studio visits with filmmaker Avijit Mukul Kishore and artist Meera Devidayal along with interactions with the other artists at the residency which then culminated in an informal open studio.

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Sarita Chouhan

Mumbai based artist Sarita Chouhan joined WAA for a month long residency in December 2018 where she developed her project Seed/Core Within.

Seed/Core Within

Seed/Core Within is a series of drawings with threads stitched onto layers of fabric, mounted on hoops that come together in Sarita’s present body of work. Extending her drawing practice to embroidery, slowly and gradually stitch by stitch she brings out forms that embrace feminine energy. These works are a celebration of feminine spirit with all its rawness and beauty, vulnerability and strength, suffering and endurance, love and nurturing. The forms are stitched using torn fabric and thread leading to these random strokes of lines and dashes that come from an intuitive process of doing, undoing and redoing.

The repetitive process of creating similar patterns here embody the sacredness of a seed and the core, the spirit within. The seed, symbolic of feminine energy within us, is a compact form of mighty force: from a tiny little seed, a large tree grows and on it flowers bloom. This work, Sarita says, is an homage to one such Gulmohar tree, with its flowers in full bloom, it stood gigantic and graceful, spreading so much beauty and joy that when the flowers fell it was like an offering to the earth.

Sophie Dloussky at WAA

Sophie Dloussky is a French filmmaker whose family is from Russia. She makes a film project about today’s Russia and Russian-speaking people. While in residence at WAA in April, 2018, she worked on the Russian and Eastern European emigration to India. In Bombay and Goa, she met a few women – dancers, actresses, models and show hosts and filmed them while they were working. What Sophie filmed during her time at the residency is going to be one part of a larger film.

 

Young Graduate Summer Residency – Priyanka D’Souza

Priyanka D’Souza recently graduated from the Painting Department, M. S. University of Baroda in 2017. Working with the idea of myth and fantasy and its function above and within reality, she works primarily in the language of Islamic miniature. Informed by her love of literature and natural history, her paintings have a strong fictional element, oftentimes with political underpinnings.

During her residency at WAA, Priyanka worked on paintings inspired by islamic miniature paintings, whilst exploring the ecological impact of pollution and poor waste management in the deep sea. The project is a collaboration with a marine biologist based in Hawaii. Priyanka used images from the Iranian epic poem, The Shahnameh by Ferdowsi as a point of departure and experimented with scrap materials to add a sculptural element to her paintings.

Priyanka

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Interview – Shivanjani Lal

Shivanjani Lal is a twice removed Fijian Indian Australian Artist and Curator. Her history is shaped by the Kala Pani [Black Waters]. She is from the indentured labor diaspora of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She works across mediums to explore her dislocation that seeks to account for memory, erasure, healing, and the archive.

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At what moment did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist or work in the arts?
I think I have always wanted to be an artist, but I never felt like I had the skills to make art. I guess it really started when I started taking photographs. I took a SLR beginner photography class. That felt like a good place to begin. As it was something I could access, a camera, and also it felt real which painting and sculpture didn’t. But I didn’t really start pursuing or thinking of art until I was in my mid 20’s and now 10 years later I think of my arts practice as work and that there are multiple avenues of how this generates art.
How has your practice evolved over the years and what has been a constant source of inspiration for you?
I guess my practice has evolved in its idea of what art is and how I make it. I am quite interested in the idea of agility and what this looks like to me right now consists of select images from my families archive, brown paper, red thread and my camera. Something which centers me; is my relationship with the women in family, particularly my grandmothers and the lives they lead and how this is a lens to review history and unmake the silences of histories.
Do you think the residency at WAA has benefited or helped your practice? If so how?
Absolutely, I was able to begin thinking more materially about my practice, to have the space and time explore brown paper and red thread in a way that makes sense to me know after living in and out of India for the last year. Also time it write and just sit with materials to listen to them and see what can happen. But also to allow others into this space and work and share this space with people who you want to support.
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What is the essence of your art? 
I think the essence of my practice is generosity. What does this work mean to me, but what does this mean also to my community and how it’s not just about outcomes such as an artwork but rather how does my work also build a community I want to see visible in the arts.
What is it that you are working on currently and what projects are in the pipeline?
I have 2 solo exhibitions coming up, one in New Zealand at a gallery called Meanwhile in Wellington and Airspace in Sydney, As well as a group show in Sydney in a new space in called Cement Fondu. Right now I am working towards an outcome for my HH Artspaces Open on the 26th of April.
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Where do you feel your strength lies in as an artist?
Patience, generosity, always being open and faking it even when I feel like I don’t deserve it.
What would be your dream project? 
Two dream projects would be to make a 9 channel video that I have been dreaming of since I moved to India 18 months ago. Also to have a group exhibition with the other Fijian Indian artists both in India, Fiji and Australia.

Call for applications – Monsoon Residencies 2018

WAA Residency Mumbai invites applications for residencies from July to October 2018.

Deadline: April 20, 2018

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Duration: 1 month to 4 months

Eligibility: Artists and curators working in all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Costs / Support: This is a paid residency. Artists are provided studio and accommodation at a nominal fee. Artists are responsible for all costs of travel, visa, insurance and food.

Program Description:

Artists, curators, writers and researchers working in various visual arts mediums are encouraged to apply with a project proposal for the residency.

What About Art? international artists residency was launched in 2013 with the aim to facilitate and support art practice. One of the few art residencies in Mumbai, India, the residency provides individual studio space, accommodation, professional networking opportunities and an intellectually stimulating environment for dialogue on visual arts practices for artists and curators. In addition, the residency organises artist talks and open studios.

6 spacious studios are situated in the heart of Mumbai in Bandra, a vibrant neighbourhood, not far from the art district where galleries, museums and art spaces are located. The studios are located in a quiet lane above the WAA office and are close to the building where accommodation is provided.

Facilities:
– Administration and preparatory research
– Orientation to the city
– 6 studios (20-25 sq mt each) available 24 hours, Internet, shared kitchen
– Accommodation (2 bedrooms) in a flat 5 mins from the studio
– Basic support for production and technical assistance
– Networking opportunities with the art community
– Open studio and artist talk at WAA Project Space

For application to the residency please send the following documents by email to projects@whataboutart.net or by post.

1) CV
2) Short description of the project
3) Portfolio with 20 images in case of artist; written material in case of curator/researcher

Please write to projects@whataboutart.net for more details.

Young Graduate Summer Residency

We’re excited to be launching our Young Graduate Summer Residency Open Call for 2018!

WAA is offering young graduates a fully sponsored studio space for a month for either May or June 2018.

To apply, please submit the following documents by email to projects@whataboutart.net:

  1. CV
  2. Statement about your work & interest
  3. 10-20 images of your work

    Please write ‘Summer Residency’ in the subject line.
    Deadline: 31st March 2018

    Summer residency 2018