The third edition of International collaborative art project Artdom becomes bigger and inclusive this time. The art project bring nine female visual artists from India and UK to create a shared art work. Five of the nine finished pieces from Artdom: Building Bridges with Art (Countries in Focus: UK & India) will be on display in Mumbai on February 17 in an exclusive preview before public exhibitions in Oslo and London later this year.
Founded by Swedish-Iranian artist and activist Arghavan Agida as a platform to amplify the voices of female artists on a global scale through art and creativity, Artdom has in previous editions paired artists from Sweden and Iran, and Norway and Pakistan. Each year the project focuses on two countries with contrasting levels of women’s rights, and despite being a vibrant democracy, women in India face considerable challenges both at home, and in the workplace.
“To work with art as a way to connect people and cultures has been my mission for the past 11 years,” says Arghavan who has been in India since early this year coordinating the completion of the artworks. “Art has always had the power to transcend borders and bring people together, and it’s great to see Artdom create a new dialogue and build bridges between different parts of the world. I chose India and United Kingdom because these two countries have a deep relationship and shared history, and such a project helps to create a deeper understanding and appreciation for different cultures and ways of life. My new goal is to create a platform where more people can connect and create together,” she adds.
With equality as the chosen theme, Arghavan – a former Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Women National Committee in Sweden – started her research on artists in the UK and India a year ago, looking for commonalities and compatibilities in style, skills and spirit. And her journey led her to artists young and old, new and established working across different media.
The artists that shared a canvas include Rosso Emerald Crimson (UK) and Nilisha Phad (India), Melissa Magg (UK) and Nidhi Mariam Jacob (India), Anna Sudbina (UK) and Premila Singh (India), Sarah Jarrett (UK) and Manjri Varde (India), Amy Dury (UK) and Sej (India), Naila Hazell (UK) and Atia Sen (India), Jackie Berridge (UK) and Monica Ghule (India), Harriet Pattinson (UK) and Bhakti Lad (India) and Mahshad Afshar (UK) and Karishma Wadhwa (India).
“Putting together a group of women artists across two continents and pairing them in a way to share the responsibility of creating one artwork addressing big topics, it’s a powerful way of moving forward with our artistic voices into areas we may not have articulated or felt confident with alone,” shares British contemporary artist Anna Sudbina who has been paired with Delhi-based artist Premila Singh.
“The unique idea of getting two artists from different countries to paint on each half of the canvas is a method of starting a dialogue between two unknown minds and providing a kaleidoscopic insight to the spectator,” echoes Premila. Their finished artwork, called Diva and DIVINE, will be displayed as part of the preview in Mumbai.
Social media influencer, popularly known as ‘Sassy Sassu’ and artist Manjri Varde was paired with UK collage artist Sarah Jarrett who chose to interpret equality through nature. “At a time when we face ecological uncertainty, we find ourselves at a crossroads in the choices we make about nature, it seems more important than ever to think about equality in these terms,” says Sarah, a sentiment that Manjri echoes. “That we are one with our earth is such an inherent element I wonder how so many people don’t understand it. Sarah’s thoughts and her painting resonated so deeply with me I feel like we shared our sensibilities across oceans with ease,” Manjri says. Their finished piece, called Divine Feminine, will also be previewed in Mumbai.
The preview in Mumbai will feature pieces that travelled from the UK to Goa, Pune and Bangalore before finally reaching Mumbai.
On February 17
At The Quorum Mumbai, Lower Parel
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