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. She also took part in the Annual Open Studio 2019.

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.





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.


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.
IMG_2707 crop
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.
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.

– 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 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 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

  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

WAA Open Studio 2018

For the second consecutive year, WAA is taking part in Mumbai Gallery Weekend’s collateral program with its annual Open Studio. This year, the Open Studio will feature practices that all have an element of interaction that invite audiences to engage with the artwork and challenge the dynamic of looking at art and the role of the viewer. The Open Studios are an opportunity for art enthusiasts to interact with and see the works of WAA’s artists in residence. The aim is to encourage dialogue and a deeper understanding of the artists’ processes of making.

The artists taking part this year are: Inlaks awardee, Sanket Jadia; CALQ 2017 recipients, Pat Dionne and Miki Gringas; Gayatri Kodikal; Afrah Shafiq; Ruchi Bakshi Sharma and curator, Gitanjali Dang.

Sanket Jadia
A multidisciplinary experimentation with both medium and form is integral to the nature of Sanket’s artistic practice. Each work is conceived in the form of an inquiry, with a conscious attempt to intervene in the existing modes of meaning production. His artistic practice relies on the inherent creative possibilities that art facilities; he has evolved particular strategies of intervention through which he pose questions that have no immediate conclusions, but open out multiple and layered possibilities of contemplation.

Residual Gaze , Sanket JadiaPat Dionne & Miki Gingras
Pat & Miki create photographic works that inspire and testify to the relationship of the individual with his environment. In all their projects, the artists integrate the participation of the subject, which manifests itself in various ways such as staging, testimonies or taking pictures. The process becomes an exchange, giving the subject the opportunity to speak, with their testimonies becoming the inspiration. The resulting photographic compositions are intended as poetic and playful allegories, presented in the form of narrative tableaux composed of reality and fiction.

Namaste, documentation of process, Milan Samvaad, Pat & Miki

Gayatri Kodikal
Gayatri Kodikal is based in India; her work in experimental films, games and sound engages with research material as an extension of her practice across mediums . She is an alumni of NID Ahmedabad, where she started experiments with narrative and technology. Currently she is working on the board game TTH:SPUMM, The Travelling Hand: Smelling Palimpsests Under Moonlit Mangroves.
The game has been supported by the Arts Practice grant from India Foundation for the Arts, underwritten by Tata Steel. Previously, she was part of the first edition of the Game Residency at Khoj International Artists Association, where she developed the video game prototype TTH:ALDAS,The Travelling Hand: A Ludic Dream Across the Sea. Here, the dreaming self and waking self work together to reveal and open up trails in an open game world.


Afrah Shafiq
Afrah Shafiq lives and works in the world of documentary film and visual art sometimes as artist, editor, writer, and designer and at other times as manager, producer and facilitator. She has a special interest in animation, multimedia, remix, folklore and dreams. When she is not glued to a computer, she makes glass mosaics.

Prologue, screen shot frmo Sultana's Reality, Afrah Shafiq

Ruchi Bakshi Sharma
Ruchi Bakshi Sharma studied Communication Design at the National Institute of Design and has directed several award winning live action and stop-motion shorts. She works with multiple mediums – Lenticulars, paper assemblages inside shadow boxes, video, optical and animating toys, kaleidoscopes out of recycled materials, jointed paper puppets for beginning story tellers, illustrated puzzles and handmade zines in collaboration with young kids. Play and motion are dominant elements in her work.

stitched cabinetman

Gitanjali Dang
Gitanjali Dang is a curator, writer and shape-shifter. In 2012, she founded Khanabadosh, an itinerant arts lab. Khanabadosh lives off latitude, magic and agnosticism, and is interested in everything. It is particularly interested in constantly rethinking what it—and everything around it—is about. In 2015, Khanabadosh, in collaboration with Institute for Contemporary Art Research (IFCAR), Zurich University of the Arts, cofounded Draft, which explores contemporary art that produces, contributes to or provokes public debate. Gitanjali lives and loves in Mumbai and wherever else this living, and loving might take her.

Our current programs are supported by ArtC, Québec in IndiaConseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Inlaks Shivadasani Foundation, India Foundation for the ArtsWhistling Woods InternationalBhavishyavani Future SoundzPro Helvetia New Delhi – Swiss Arts Council.