Monday, November 28, 2016


INDIA HABITAT CENTRE to host HABITAT PHOTOSPHERE – a month long photography festival that puts the focus back on sustainable development through exhibitions, workshops, film festivals, curated walks and more: December 1 to December 31, 2016

New Delhi: Beginning December 1, the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi will transform itself into a multi-layered art gallery – with both its indoor and outdoor spaces bustling with exhibitions, workshops, curated walks, talks, film festival et al – to host one of the most awaited photography festivals of the year, HABITAT PHOTOSPHERE. The month-long photography festival is an initiative of India Habitat Centre curated and conceptualized by Dr Alka Pande that aims to bring into focus sustainable development and environmental awareness through the medium of photography.

One of the main exhibitions during the festival is titled Panchtattvas: The Road Ahead which will showcase photographs and photo-based installations created by the four awardees of the prestigious Photosphere grant - Harikrishna Katragadda, Monica Tiwari, Shraddha Borawake and K. R Sunil, each having been mentored in this creative process by renowned, practicing photographers like Parthiv Shah, Bandeep Singh, Prabir Purkayastha and Aditya Arya respectively. And that’s not all. The four mentors themselves will be showing their photographic work responding to that of their mentees. Some photographs by both the awardees and their mentors will also be shown at the Mandi House metro station.  

Adding to the multi-dimensionality of the exhibition at IHC, Dr Pande will be presenting an animation work on River Ganga, artist Ashim Ghosh will have a light-based installation titled Illume on view, while Swiss artist Ursula Biemann will be showing a video work called Deep Weather. In addition, at the Jor Bagh Metro station, authors Kavita Singh Kale and Santosh Kale will be showing images from their graphic novel project called “17 Seen Unseen” that was published for young adults commissioned by UNESCO MGEIP based on 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Based in Kochi, Kerala, K.R. Sunil, 40, centers his project around the ethnographic photo-documentation of ponds in Kerala which are on the verge of extinction. Delhi-based Monica Tiwari, 28, has trained her lens to document the lifestyle changes in children of migrant parents by understanding the effects on their education, health, and social well-being, in the context of global-warming led migration in the Sunderbans. 
Mumbai-based Harikrishna Katragadda, 46, titles his project You Can’t Step Into The Same River Twice which focuses on the pollution in river Ganga. Shraddha Borwake, 33, has chosen the all-encompassing Earth as the topic for her installation-based photographic project titled Benevolence

Apart from the exhibition, there will also be a film festival on the subject of sustainability curated by Nitin Donde, treasure hunts, curated walks and show and tell sessions. Also scheduled to take place are a series of interactive and educative workshops being conducted by renowned photographers through the month of December. For details on all events, please visit on Facebook - habitatphotosphere, twitter - @Photosphere2016, Website -

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Four Winners of Habitat Photosphere Award Announced

Awardees to create a body of work on the theme of sustainable development that will be exhibited in a large-scale exhibition at India Habitat Centre in December 2016

New Delhi: Harikrishna Katragadda, Monica Tiwari, Shraddha Borawake and K. R Sunil have been selected amongst hundreds of applicants as the four winners of the Habitat Photosphere award. The winners were announced on Saturday, March 5 at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi. An eminent jury comprising of practising and eminent photographers – Bandeep Singh, Parthiv Shah, Aditya Arya and Prabir Purkayastha - went through a rigorous procedure of debating and discussing each application to select the final four winners. Each winner will be now awarded a monetary grant of Rs 2 lakh to create a body of work on the theme of sustainable development. The award is part of a year-long photography festival titled Habitat Photosphere initiated by IHC and curated and conceptualized by the art historian Dr Alka Pande. The works of these four awardees will be exhibited in a month-long exhibition at the India Habitat Centre in December 2016.

The award of Rs 2 lakh will cover the expenses related to travel and research undertaken by the photographer. The IHC shall bear the expense of the producing a comprehensive outdoor exhibition featuring the works of the awardees at India Habitat Centre. This will be supplemented with an equally insightful book titled ‘Panchatattava’ which will also serve as a catalogue for the exhibition. Each of the four photographers will be mentored through the next eight months by Aditya Arya, Bandeep Singh, Prabir Purkayastha and Parthiv Shah.

Says Parthiv Shah, who will be mentoring Harikrishna Katragadda: “The role of the mentor will be to channelize their thinking and energies on the broad theme of environmental damage, restoration and preservation. Beyond the award, this exposure would help in creating a long term commitment on using photography for environmental education and protection.”

Added Bandeep Singh, who will mentor Monica Tiwari: “While some applications were very technique-savvy, other scored on content. The winning applicants, of course, scored highly on all our parameters - style, execution and concept.”

Prabir Purkayastha, who will be mentoring Shraddha Borawake commented, “We were impressed by the fact that Shraddha has gone beyond the visual language of photography and works in a transmedial way using photography as a central point creating two and three dimensional works. We want to encourage new languages in photography through this festival and that is where she scored.”

On the other hand, KR Sunil will be mentored by Aditya Arya. Said Arya, “Sunil unanimously wowed the jury with his honest work tinged with an unadulterated innocence.”

PSBT representative Tulika Srivastava and Dr Alka Pande, Artistic Director, Habitat Photosphere also gave their opinions and views during the selection process.

For the exhibition slated in December 2016, Katragadda plans to travel to the cities and towns along the Ganges, with have high concentration of leather and metal industries, and the burning ghats of Benaras. He says, “I am interested in portraits of people, animals and various life forms affected by pollution. The aim is to pollute the photographic image like the landscape it represents.”

Monica Tiwari aims to document the lifestyle changes caused due to migration. “My project aims to focus on the challenging, uncertain, and heartbreaking journeys undertaken by the parents who migrate, and especially focusing on the children and the elderly who are left behind in their native lands.”

Shraddha Borawake will be working towards an installation-based project while K.R Sunil aims to document the fast-disappearing ponds in various parts of Kerala.

Habitat Photosphere awards have been supported by Future Institute, Tarun Khiwal, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, Aim Television, PSBT, Bank Of Maharashtra, Picsdream and Foundation of Universal Responsibility of His Holiness The Dalai Lama (FUR).

Monday, November 23, 2015

Opening Preview Of Fibre Fables: A Collaboration Between Artists and Weavers

New Delhi: Sumeet Nath, Managing Partner of Raj Group, hosted the opening preview of Fibre Fables, a collaborative show between eleven artists and weavers of Panipat which was held at The Stainless Gallery in New Delhi on Saturday evening. The artworks in this exhibition have emerged from a year-long interaction between the artists and factory weavers with an idea to put the spotlight back on our weaving traditions that are slowly facing extinction in the face of competition from machine-made products.

Curated by Shailin Smith, all the artworks in the exhibition have been created using the techniques involved in weaving industry – tufting, braiding, kilim and pitloom weaving to name a few. ​Through this creative process, each artist has gained an insight into many new techniques that they hope to use in future as well, while the weavers have begun to look at their daily mechanical chores with a new, respectful gaze, as something that can be used to create a piece of art.

Those who attended the opening included Sumeet Nath (industrialist) with wife Mandira, Shailin Smith (curator), Susham Bahl (curator), Alka Raghuvanshi (artist and art critic), Matisha Sahni (architect), Mona Kapoor (fashion designer), Manisha Gawade (artist), Kanchan Chander (artist), Anoop Kamath (curator and artist), Ritu Kamath (artist), Abeer Gupta (artist), Dhvani Behl (artist), Durga Kainthola (artist), Nikheel Apahle (artist), Puneet Kaushik (artist), ​Sahaya Sharma (artist), Sandeep Biswas (artist), Shivani Aggarwal (artist), Vibhu Galhotra (artist), Achal Kumar (photographer) among others. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Raj Group presents Fibre Fables @ The Stainless

New Delhi: Panipat-based Raj Group, one of the oldest home furnishing exporters from the area, is presenting in Delhi in November an exhibition of artworks that has emerged from a year-long interaction between eleven Delhi-based artists and factory weavers. The idea is to put the spotlight back on our weaving traditions that are slowly facing extinction in the face of competition from machine-made products.

Curated by Shailin Smith, the exhibition – titled FIBRE FABLES: An exhibition in collaboration with artists and weavers - including installations, photographs, video and sound art, will be held at The Stainless Gallery, Old Ishwar Nagar, New Delhi from November 21 till December 31, 2015, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The eleven participating artists are ​Abeer Gupta, Brahm Maira, Dhvani Behl, Durga Kainthola, Nidhi Khurana, Nikheel Apahle, Puneet Kaushik, ​Sahaya Sharma, Sandeep Biswas, Shivani Aggarwal and Vibhu Galhotra.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Manjunath Kamath's solo show titled ‘Postponed Poems’@ Gallery Espace: January 16-February 28, 2015

New Delhi: Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace, presents Postponed Poems, a solo show of terracotta sculptures and drawings by Delhi-based artist Manjunath Kamath at Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi, from January 16 till February 28, 2015, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phone @ 26326267.
Postponed Poems is the aggregate of Kamath’s distinctive imagery rich with the narratives of everyday life, interwoven with mythologies and intimate stories. Kamath’s collecting hobby of over 30 years forms the basis for understanding of his new body of sculptural work. The old and aged classical and folk sculptures holding the trace and weight of time becomes the subject for his work. The artist is fascinated with the amazing forms of the past such as traditional temple sculptures, broken parts of old havelis, ritual masks and icons of god and goddesses. The artist pours out his heart and soul and captures such antiques in terracotta sculptures. His works signify beyond the mere meaning of realistic representation, to becoming a kind of shamanistic process that honors aged things and elaborately traces the various lives and sensibilities inherent in the objects.
At the same time, Kamath imparts his signature flavor of witticism in his interpretation of the secular, mythological and the historical. Hence, his terracotta sculptures in this show are inspired by classical aesthetics but turned into a modern metaphor replete with humor and satire.
Says the 42-year-old artist: “I have a great fascination for traditional classical sculpture and paintings from my childhood, and I still remember that I spent hours looking at those sculptures in temple chariots and on walls. The temples and churches are like art museums for me, and that was how I was introduced to art. I have spent hours with local craftsmen watching them make idols of Gods and Goddesses. Eventually, I even started collecting classical sculptures and paintings like ritual masks, wooden and metal sculptures, parts of temple chariots, old terracotta sculptures. It was natural then that I would want to bring the aesthetics of this classical style into my works but interpret them on my own terms. It is like reconnecting to our roots.”
Kamath tells many stories with his images but his narratives are altered and adjusted constantly, adapting fluidly according to the environment they are narrated in, and resulting in a different meaning each time a story is told. As a visual artist, Kamath feels impelled to regularly reinvent his method of storytelling. By relentlessly working on his articulation and modernizing his techniques, the artist continuously updates his visual vocabulary.

Apart from these sculptures, Kamath is also showing paper works which include 30 small drawings, 9 small Indian miniature-styled paper works and 15 gold leaf portraits drawing reference from the Buddhist Thangka paintings.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Live music acts to be played at Thespo16!

Mumbai, December 4,  2014: The annual drama festival for theatre-wallahs below the age of 25, the 16th edition of Thespo, is back with a dramatic bang. Taking place from 15th to 21st December 2014, the festival is centered on the theme ‘Plug-In to the Tamasha’.  Continuing its support of all forms of artistic talent, Thespo 16 will intersperse its theatre performances with a host of live music shows.

You can sway to the acoustic folk and soft rock sounds of Shubhangi Joshi, a Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Mumbai, India. A self-taught guitarist since the age of twelve, her musical style is primarily a mix of acoustic, folk, and soft rock, with the occasional outlier that sounds nothing like the above. Her debut EP, titled 'Talking away the Night', is a collection of four songs rooted in varying styles (16th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre)

Enjoy as Pune’s Meera Shenoy croons her favorite folk/ jazz/ blues numbers. Meera Shenoy is a young blues jazz singer, who accidentally discovered her vocal skills while fiddling around in the school choir.  She is tinkering around with strange xylophones, harps, ukuleles, pianos you name it, for musical epiphanies ever since. Meera has grown up listening to big band jazz and small town blues and extends her love over a century from Dean Martin to Mac De Marco. She still does swear by Esperanza though. Her favorite musicians are currently Tom Waits, Elvis, Costello, Nick Drake and Yo yo ma (they change every week). Come watch her sing about lost picks and stuff. (17th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre).

If classic rock is more up your alley, tap your feet to the tunes of bass guitarist Vivek Date who is a Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter purely into rock & roll music drawing heavy influences from bands like The Beatles, The Who, Cream etc. (18th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre).

You can also watch out for Indo Gypsies, one of the most prolific Folk/Fusion/World Music Bands from India. They Seamlessly blend Folk Music with Myriad of Genres. This exceptional quality managed to win them the nation wide contest 'India Fest Channel [V] Launchpad 2013. Their songs are being aired on various national as well as international radio channels. Recently they have released an official music video, "Soldier's Love", with Pepsi MTV Indies. With their engrossing and colorful-vibrant attires, rooted in Indian Culture, Indo Gypsies appeal to a wide range of audiences and captivating everyone all over the places. (19th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre).

Having started out in 1999 as a one-act play festival, Thespo has surely come a long way. Surpassing boundaries of nationality, languages and art forms, its 16th edition promises to be an occasion where all come together for the pure and simple love of theatre. As actors, dancers, musicians, writers, directors, enthusiasts and even first-timers meet on this dynamic platform, once can be assured of an invigorating, memorable experience like no other.

Thespo is organized by QTP, under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, it will be taking place in two venues this year: the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, the city’s latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s.