Preksha Tater

Surat based artist, Preksha Tater, was an artist in residence with us for the month of April. During her time at WAA, she explored the notion of of space as both a physical and virtual concept through various disciplines like drawing, installation and sculpture.

She follows a process of trial and error in her art making, using materials in innovative and experimental ways. As she lived in her studio space, the lines between living and art making began to blur and as a result, so did her work. Inviting others to engage with her work was also an invitation into her living quarters, creating an intimate and almost private way to access art.

IMG_8555

IMG_8556

IMG_8554

Preksha often uses cloth and methods of dyeing in her work. At the end of her residency, she created a site specific installation in her studio using fabric and natural dyes. The strips of fabric that lined the room and furniture was evocative of a womb-like cityscape that was evocative of her time in Mumbai.

IMG_8756

Studio visit with Hena Kapadia

IMG_8746

Visit by members of Carpe Arte

Advertisements

Outre-vie / Afterlife – How Many Seas

Raymonde_IMG_0714

In March, WAA had the pleasure of producing and exhibiting FOCUS Photography Festival’s only public art show.

The exhibition, How Many Seas, consisted of eleven monumental photographs facing the seashore on Bandra’s Carter Road. These images, collected by individual artists in Korea, Greece, Quebec, Romania, Bosnia, Ontario, and Iceland, formed an open constellation that speaks to the ambiguity of memory. Using both English and Hindi captions, the text and images employed different modes of writing: from poetic reflection to transcribed conversations. Together they evoked a fragmentary, allegorical form of storytelling.

Supported by the Quebec Government, the large scale exhibition has been curated and conceptualised by Canadian contemporary artist, photographer and academic, Raymonde April.

Raymonde_IMG_1126

This was April’s fifth visit to India and second public art exhibition in Mumbai.
April comments,The Afterlife project started right after my first residency in Mumbai, in 2012-2013, I wanted to give life to stories and images through a community, sharing a conversation about time, memory, space. I remember very clearly the first time I saw the Bandra seaside at sunset, how wide the ocean was, and how many living beings, people, animals, birds, populated its space, and how I could not decide to leave, being captivated by its multiple horizons. I could not dream of such an immense and beautiful site for showing our work.”

Raymonde_IMG_1290

Afterlife or Outre-vie in French, is a research group created by April, together with ten artists and graduate students. It seeks to develop photographic and videographic practices that elucidate the ghostly afterlife of the images that comprise our present as much as our historical and artistic memory: Images do not (always) die away; they prolong the lives of foregone places and beings in their absence. The group takes name from the late Quebecois poet Marie Uguay, who writes: “Afterlife is when one is not yet in life, when one looks at it, when one seeks to enter it. One is not dead but already almost alive, almost born, being born perhaps, in this passage beyond borders and beyond time, which defines desire. Desire of the other, desire of the world […] Afterlife is like overseas or beyond the grave.” (1976).

Raymonde_DSC00315

Raymonde_DSC00316

On March 12th, along with April, we were joined by two other Afterlife members, Velibor Bozevic and Jinyoung Kim for the opening and walk-through of the exhibition. More than 70 people walked along with us, experiencing the magic and memory of the images juxtaposed with the iconic pink and saffron colours of Mumbai’s sunset on Carter Road. We later reconvened for drinks and a screening of Afterlife video works at the WAA project space.

IMG_8078

Raymonde_IMG_0692

Raymonde_IMG_0701

Raymonde_IMG_0708

Raymonde_IMG_0709

Raymonde_IMG_1115

Raymonde_IMG_1309

Raymonde_IMG_1357

Raymonde_IMG_1393

 

Interview – Sarah Pupo

Sarah Pupo, an artist from Montreal, joined us from November 2016 to February 2017 as a Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec Residency in India. Her work integrates painting and drawing, installation and self-taught, provisional animation techniques. Her approach to making things prioritizes intuition, associative thinking and the flux of chance and control. The repetitious action of drawing (sitting down in a particular place, using a set of special objects) and the rhythmic, slowed down practice of animation open up a luminal space where times moves differently and it is possible to look and sense in a different way. Dream, emotion, memory, ghost, fantasy, all that can’t be thought through in a linear manner are addressed more easily through these rituals of making.

IMG_2498

We asked her a few questions about her work and her time in Mumbai: 

What does animation mean to you?

For me, animation is all about process and time. When I am deep into working on an animation time seems to stand still, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together very very slowly and decisions are being made incrementally. This makes room for intuition as I often feel like I am taking a back seat to the decision making process and the content of the piece is just unfolding, one movement triggering the next and the next. I only need to listen and follow.

Animation also does funny things with time – when you are working it stretches time out and then when the piece is being viewed it condenses time. Both of these times exist in an animation, fast and slow movement simultaneously.

Finally, I love how transformative animation is. Something that is mundane or drab looking in life becomes smoothed out, sharpened, glows or changes when it is photographed and projected; a three dimensional object becomes a creature of shadow, two shapes overlap and combine in unexpected ways, the flicker of light in a room transforms a scene or casts a strange glow. There is a really basic pleasure in giving something life and watching it move.

IMG_3647

Most memorable/favorite artwork from your trip?

This was a tie between 2 works I saw at the Kochi Muzeris Biennale: Prime by Camille Normant and Aphelion by Pedro Gomez-Egaña.  Normant’s work was a cluster of benches set in a room that looked out onto the sea. Deep disembodied humming filled the room and as I sat down on one of the benches I jumped to feel one of the ghost voices vibrate through my own body. Each bench had a different voice. The room was both restful and (literally) vibrating with energy.

In Aphelion, Pedro Gomez-Egaña had set up a very thoughtful shadow theatre. The audience was ushered into a small room, doors were closed and we were plunged into darkness. A tiny ball of light emerged on a glowing horizon line and a voice filled the room suggesting many overlapping narratives/histories of a ship at sea. It was poetic and played with how many stories one could project on such a simple image. At the end the doors burst open, light poured in from outside and the mechanism was revealed. I liked both the celebration and unraveling of this simple magic.

IMG_2542

Do you have a dream project? 

I have lots of dream projects! Two of which I started on while I was in India- the first is to make an artist book of my watercolours and the second is to animate a poem, Kok, by my friend Kristin Eiriksdottir. I guess what these both have in common is the desire to combine text and image. Text is an element that I have wanted to introduce in my work for a long time but have not figured out how to negotiate it yet. To be continued…

IMG_3648

What have some of the major influences of this trip been for you? 

This trip has influenced me in many ways, a lot of which will emerge slowly in my work as I process it over the next months (and years, I’m sure).

Something that left a big impression was the crumbling and regeneration of things. How as one wall was falling another was being built. How things were decaying but plant life was taking over. How one layer after another was peeling from a painted wall to reveal the layers underneath and underneath. I love how many traces of the past come up to the surface in Bombay. How fragments of past lives and architectures and new industry/structures and ways are living side by side all the time.

The trash and discarded objects that were around also made an impression on me – from man made trash and wrappers to fallen palm leaves and organic detritus in the streets. I loved how much stuff was just lying around everywhere – little coloured bits and weird shapes in the dust. I started making objects for the first time because of this, small painted paper sculptures.

And obviously (I know its cliché to say but) colour was a big one. The browns and yellows of buildings and dust punctuated by the colour of clothing hanging in every nook and cranny, on people, in wedding and Christmas decorations, painted on temples. I love that the go-to for everything seems to be bright colour rather than neutrals and the combinations of colour and pattern clash are incredible.

A quick list of other influences: textiles and the textile markets, block printing, small alters and devotionals everywhere, the simultaneous new growth/freshness and decay, the fast/slow pace of everything in the city, people’s resourcefulness and ability to make do and improvise provisionally, the crush of sound, smell and activity that constantly overwhelmed my senses.

IMG_2498

IMG_2596

IMG_2723

IMG_2724

IMG_2725

IMG_3651

Tamaris Borrelly

Artist Tamaris Borrelly weaves together two different worlds of existence, life that is fictional and non fictional, that which she experiences, sees, touches and studies in nature. Her work is a coming together of two different mediums, watercolor drawings and 2D animation in the form of a video. The combination of these two medium helps her play and experiment with her themes. Natural Forms and landscapes are common threads in her drawings and animation that depicts life. She experimented with terracotta as a way to mold forms from her drawing into 3 dimensional works.

During her time in India Tamaris travelled to islands in the Andaman. The discovery of the underworld life and the impact it had on her inspired her to work on independent drawings along with series of drawings. The series of drawings were on different paper, which enhanced the narrative further. One of the series was on different under sea creatures for which she used black thin Japanese paper.

japanese-paper

The second series of drawings was on the idea of the deformation of a community of different living forms on a tanned blue shading off paper. The blue is a representation of the cosmos or the sea.

In these six drawings the bodies, animals or plant life disappear slowly from the left to the right, to reach the stage of abstract forms.

blue-searese

The last drawing series was an exploration map, which were created on various sized paper.

img20160824173538

Alongside these explorations with water colour drawings and animation, Tamaris spent a few days at Rashi Jain’s pottery studio situated in Mankhurd Mumbai, learning the properties of terracotta as a natural material

Rashi Jain.jpg
Studio Karva – Mankhurd

 

img20160831123628
Studio Karva – Mankhurd

The 2-month residency culminated at a lovely gathering for an open studio hosted at Coral Studio Bandra. The evening at Coral Studio was to commemorate the 2-month long residency of artists in residence, Tamaris Borrelly, and Mahana Delacour, Mumbai based artist Shambhavi Bhat & guest performer Rati Tripathi presented their recent work as well.

An interesting evening of Performances, Video & Installation followed, with some of their visual artworks displayed on the walls at Coral studio. Here are a few pictures of the Open studio.

audiance-video-screening-copy
Video screening of ‘Orphism’ at Coral Studio- Bandra 

 

In Response to the City

Abir Mukherjee recipient of the Inlaks Fine Art Award 2016, was in residence at the WAA studio’s for the month of June.

Abir Mukherjee’s practice is an enquiry into the basic act of looking and to provide the audience the opportunity to experience the world in a new way. During his time at the WAA residency he chose to paint portraits of people from the locality of Bandra and around the city of Mumbai. He let the works develop organically, interacting with people from the local area around the studio, and developing portrait sketches which told stories of their personal interactions and backgrounds.

By keeping his initial process flexible Abir allowed participation that then made the work collaboration between the model and the artist. To have a dialogue with the rich tradition of painting, Abir layered his works with references to his engagement with the people that he painted.

IMG_20160622_121830007_HDR
Portrait of Abir’s Photographer friend.
IMG_20160622_122013482
Working at the WAA studio.

As part of the residency with us we organised a few meaningful interactions and studio visits with artists such as Sudhir Patwardhan, Gieve patel, Atul Dodiya, Akbar Padamsee, Sharmista Ray and Gallerist Hena Kapadia of Tarq.

Abir unwrapped his canvases for further insight and critique on his work and processes.

IMG_20160608_162309395
Visit to Sudhir Patwardhan’s studio.
IMG_20160608_181113265
Visit to Sudhir Patwardhan’s studio.
IMG_20160626_110412018
Visit to Atul Dodiya’s studio.
IMG_20160623_173611
WAA studio visit by Hena Kapadia.

Having completed his education with Bachelors in Fine Arts (B.F.A.) and an M.F.A. first class from Kala-Bhavana Santiniketan, Abir expands his practice into learning and unlearning the methods of traditional painting.

“What I seek in my work is to assimilate information from all my senses and create a response for it. Hence my painting becomes a personal record of the act of looking. In this situation some indefinable lively quality seeps in the work which surpasses mere representation.”

 

Begins in a corner.

Teja Gavankar’s graphic and sculptural work addresses the complexities of public space and architecture. By appropriating pre-existing models, she detracts and subtly transforms her objects, all the while pushing against the limits of their materiality. Currently, the artist’s drawings seek to understand space through the study of shapes that convey the existing traces of the past and the memory of place. Her intention is to look at spaces as mental states. Hence, she prefers to make use of existing materials or situations rather than bringing new material into the place.

During her time at the WAA studio she explored the nuances of material such as Cement, Brass sheets, Paper, beginning the explorations from the corners of her studio as she states in the text below.

i7

Teja1
Corners of Teja Studio
Teja2
Corner’s of Tejas Studio
IMG_8841
Studio Wall-Drawing interventions onto the wall.
IMG_8782
Title: A corner is yours, others and mine.

IMG_8785

IMG_8795
Open studio Setup.