Meet the grantees: Serendipity Arts Foundation announces first annual grants for 2019-'20
New Delhi: The Serendipity Arts Foundation has announced the grantees of its first annual grants amounting to INR 8.75 lakhs.
The categories include a visual arts research grant, performing arts research grant, residency travel grant for visual arts, residency travel grant for performing arts (choreography) and a performance art documentation and performing arts grant - theatre.
Through its many outreach programs including these grants, the Foundation wants to help build an environment for sustainable practices for art and culture in the South Asia region.
These grants enable artists an opportunity to develop their craft, help them to gain global exposure and reach wider audiences.
Serendipity Arts Foundation supports multidisciplinary arts initiative all year round through its various grants, residencies, workshops, exhibitions etc. leading up to their annual Festival - Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 in Goa from 15 - 22 December 2019.
The jury deciding the grants comprised a selection of artists and curators including Ranjit Hoskote, Vishal Dar, Latika Gupta for the visual arts research grants; Zuleikha Chaudhari, Sahej Rahal, Sajan Mani for the performance art documentation, and Anuradha Kapur, Amitesh Grover and Maya Krishna Rao, Vikram Phukan, Abhishek Majumdar and Sunil Shanbag for the performing arts grant, along with a team of in-house jury members from the Foundation.
The initial shortlist was followed by a round of interviews to decide the final grantees.
Regarding the grants, Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Founder Patron, Serendipity Arts Foundation said, “We are proud to initiate the Serendipity Grants programme, an initiative we hope to continue with over the years. At Serendipity Arts Foundation, we understand the need to support artists and practitioners in the arts, particularly in the fields of research, documentation, practice and global exposure. We are very pleased to be supporting our 7 grantees, and hope to develop this grants programme in the future.”
Each of these grants will help the grantees grow their practice within their chosen fields. The visual arts research grant seeks to support research initiatives by individuals who will contribute to the discourse around visual arts in South Asia.
The awardees for the 2019-20 grants are:
- Pinaki Ranjan Mohanty for the visual arts research grant
- Sarah Naqvi for the residency travel grant (visual arts)
- Aseng Borang for the residency travel grant (performing arts - choreography)
- Sridhar Balasubramanium for the performance art documentation grant
- George Pioustin for the performing arts research grant
- Aruna Ganesh Ram and Firos Khan for the performing arts grant (theatre)
In an attempt to engage with a range of ideas under the broader umbrella of contemporary art, the subject focus of the grant will be changed each year and this year the grant focuses specifically on new media art in India, post-liberalisation.
The grant for performing arts research will support innovative research initiatives by individuals who will contribute to the discourse around performing arts in South Asia; the travel residency grant for visual arts and performing arts - choreography offers support to one professional to attend a residency in India or abroad; the performance art documentation grant offers support for an arts professional or arts collective to document a work of performance art; and the performing arts theatre grant will offer travel support for individuals to attend an artist residency, as well as towards the creation of a new theatre piece, and the research and documentation of projects within the visual and performing arts.
About the grants, Ms Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Festival said, “We are very pleased with the positive response we received for our first grants programme. Since 2016, we have been taking small steps towards opening up new facets to the Foundation’s outreach, which will now include an annual grants programme.”
She added, “Each of our six grants was designed on the basis of recurring themes that resonated with the Foundation’s mandates. For example, given our long-term commitment to performance art, we were keen to provide a grant supporting the documentation of a performance art project."
"Similarly, we understand that there is a lacuna in research done around visual and performing arts, and have created grants for both. We hope to expand this programme, and create further opportunities in the future through the networks we have been able to create through collaborative projects, and the festival.”
MEET THE GRANTEES
Sarah Naqvi is an Indian artist, based in Mumbai. She studied Liberal Arts at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and Bachelor of Textiles at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Her work engages in narratives themed around religious and societal stigmas.
Textiles and embroidery, the primary medium in her practice, uses the cathartic nature of its process to address relevant issues of marginalization. Sarah has been selected for the De Ateliers Residency, Amsterdam for the period 2019-21.
She has also been part of the Forecast Forum Residency, Berlin in 2018. She is the recipient of 'The Phenomenal she' award in 2019 conferred by the Indian National Bar Association and NID Ford Foundation Grant in 2018.
Pinaki R Mohanty was born in a small village by Lake Chilika - the largest coastal lagoon in India. Pinaki pursued Post Diploma in Ceramics Design from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan and Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture from BK College of Art & Crafts, Bhubaneswar.
The blue lagoon has massively influenced Pinaki’s life as well as his art practice. As a result, Lake Chilika emerges several times subjectively and objectively in his art. In recent years, the beautiful lake of her childhood has come under siege due to repeated depredations by humanity and is now in the midst of a major conservation crisis.
These problems and looking for solutions through artistic interventions have become Pinaki’s central periphery of research and art practice. In this project, she wants to engage local people from different occupations and writers, musicians, artists, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts who have worked closely in Chilika for a long time through interviews.
Aseng Borang is a dance practitioner, choreographer and performer, who has trained for the past eight years in Somatic and other contemporary techniques. Her choreographic interests lie in pursuit to challenge the meaning makings in/of ‘dance’, what is performance in the current times and how is performance being read today.
Recently, she has made attempts to investigate and explore physical theatre, performing the character Puck, in Atul Kumar’s play adapted from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and also worked with Mandeep Raikhy for his recent work ‘The extremities of a surface are lines’.
She is also the winner of Prakriti Excellence Contemporary Dance Award 2018 organised by Prakriti Foundation, for her work-in-progress, Erosion of Tangko.
She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Performance Practice (Dance) from Ambedkar University Delhi where she is continuously exploring her academic interests and choreographic interests.
George Pioustin is a research scholar in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He holds an MA in Performance Studies from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) and has worked at AUD in collaboration with Cape Town University on the project ‘Afro- Asia: Musical and Human Migrations across the Indian Ocean’.
He has extensively presented research papers at various international music conferences and his research interests include performance traditions within Indian Christianity, Indian classical music, music and migration, as well as minority studies.
He is a recipient of Fellowship in Indology instituted by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, for the ‘Outstanding Persons in the Fields of Culture’, UNESCO- Sahapedia Fellowship 2017, among other accolades. George will be conducting an in-depth study on the Syriac chanting tradition among the Syrian Christians of Kerala as part of the SAF grant.
Sridhar Balasubramanium The genesis of Sridhar’s process was his fascination with the theatre and body. He started engaging with the bodies, their form and movement in the theatre during his stint at Manalmagudi theatre land (contemporary theatre). Here they create theatre based on indigenous folklore.
Through his process, he developed an interest for Dravidian rituals and started travelling across Tamil Nadu, photographing folk ceremonies, performances, tribal weddings and funerals.
During which he was drawn to looking at the relationship between the people and the land. Sridhar’s current research areas involve the relationship of bodyscapes with its landscapes and the tribals’ harmony with nature.
Aruna Ganesh Ram is the Artistic Director of Visual Respiration, a performance company based in Bengaluru. Her work goes beyond the linear exploring form, audience engagement and spatiality to present multiple perspectives without resorting to the single narrative.
Her work is a composition of images, sounds, characters, poetry and text - sensory and intimate. Her recent performances include Under Pressure that explores Climate Change & Consumerism (2019) and Stand on the Street, a culinary journey of the streets of India (2017-18).
With Water Stories (2019-2020) she is exploring interactive performance for young audiences. She holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Aruna is also an ATSA (Arts Think South Asia) fellow. At the moment, she is an artist-in-residence at WISP Kollektiv, Germany as part of Goethe Institut's Bangalore expanded residency programme.
Firos Khan is Designer and Director, graduated from School of Drama, Thrissur and National School of Drama, New Delhi. After graduating, he worked around the country as designer and pedagogue. He worked as a writer, director, performance maker and designer for the last nine years after graduating from National School of Drama, New Delhi.
His practice so far has been investigating how to reassemble the idea of body, body in space, and space in its extended digital and virtual possibilities.
So far his body of work includes collaborations with classical and contemporary dancers, theatre directors, puppeteers, students, digital artists, scenographers, amateur actors, magicians, writers, musicians and visual artists.