Desk Correspondent, abptakmaa, Kolkata, 5th May 2020 : Emami Art, one of India’s leading contemporary art galleries based in Kolkata, recently conducted its first edition of Emami Art Talks – Conversations, a six-day webinar series curated by Ushmita Sahu, using the digital platform. These webinars were held from April 27th to May 2nd, 2020 and were open to all, with free registration. The sessions, moderated by Richa Agarwal, CEO Emami Art and curator Ushmita Sahu talked about the dynamics of couples from the art fraternity in India.
Innovatively conceptualised to bring some of the inspirational names from the world of art to the viewers in an informal setting in one’s own home over a six-day live webinar sessions became an instant hit. The panel of eminent Couples included artists Arunima Choudhury & Gautam Chowdhury; Pranati Panda & Jagannath Panda; Pooja Iranna & G R Iranna; Mithu Sen & Samit Das; writers, curators and cultural theorists Nancy Adajania & Ranjit Hoskote; and Mumbai based gallerists Tara Lal & Mortimer Chatterjee. The highlight of the maiden series was that it featured interactions between real life couples and the moderators that were aimed to inspire young artists and explore what drives people in the art fraternity. In these informal conversations,they reminisced about their first meetings, early date of courtship, the struggle they had to endure and the countless challenges they needed to overcome to be where they are today. These insightful evening discussions also revolved around recent projects that the couples have worked on together or supported each other with. The discussions also included questions on medium of their artwork and their inspirations. The takeaway from these talks were that how all artists should be optimistic and keep their spirits high during the current challenging time, and rest assured that this too shall pass.
Mrs. Richa Agarwal, CEO Emami Art said: “At Emami Art, we were very excited and now deeply humbled to host these interactive sessions with such wonderful and eminent personalities. This was our first attempt at doing something innovative and interesting to engage with our audience in a positive manner during the current period. We wanted to add value, for which Emami Art stands for, to our eminent speaker’s time as well as our participants’ with a program that is meaningful and enjoyable. We are thrilled to have received a huge response to Emami Art Talks – Conversations and quality participation by both the speakers and the viewers. We got viewers from across the world who attended these sessions and were really surprised to see the enthusiastic questions that all of them had for our speakers. The overall response has encouraged us to continue with Emami Art Talks every month. We are also planning for Emami Art Mentorship Program which will be an online platform for mentoring the upcoming artists. This program is in the pipeline and expected to kick-off from later this month.”
Ms. Ushmita Sahu, Curator commented, “The world is going through an unprecedented and challenging time. Our very way of life is under threat today. While we quarantine ourselves in our homes, it is becoming increasingly clear that the current situation has and will continue to have far-reaching impact on our society. We are also very much aware that the art world is particularly vulnerable. In response to a growing sense of urgency to reach out and to try and foster a sense of solidarity within the arts community I had curated these digital programmes to bring about discussions about art with leading artists, film makers, designers, curators, art historians, gallerists, collectors, critics etc , with each sharing their unique perspectives on live”
About the Speakers:
Arunima Choudhury & Gautam Chowdhury: Arunima & Gautam Chowdhury are amongst the most loved and respected artist couples of Kolkata. Theirs has been a journey of true partnership since they married in 1975. While studying in college, In 1974 together they started and ran Vihaan, an art and creative centre which they ran till the mid 90’s, mentoring many artists from Bengal. Both the artists continue to practice without fanfare and without the desire for a commercial validation.
Pranati Panda & Jagannath Panda: Pranati Panda completed her BFA at the College of Art and Craft, Bhubaneswar and her Masters from Delhi College of Art. Jagannath Panda completed his Bachelors in sculpture from the B. K. College of Arts and Crafts and his Masters from M. S. University, Baroda in 1994. He has a second master’s in sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London. Both were born and brought up in Odisha and now live and work from Delhi. They are both deeply involved with their Foundation for contemporary arts called Utsha which operates out of Bhubaneswar. Odisha. Utsha promotes artistic excellence and an exciting synthesis between contemporary and traditional arts.
Pooja Iranna and GR Iranna: Pooja Iranna was born in 1969 to renowned artists Rameshwar and Shobha Broota. Although her first choice was to study architecture and this remains quite evident in her work, Pooja completed her BFA and MFA in Painting from the College of Art in New Delhi. G.R. Iranna was born in 1970 in Karnataka. Working across genres such as paintings and drawings, sculptures and installations Iranna says his work can never be divorced from the human condition and that he treats all forms that he creates with an equal compassion
Mithu Sen and Samit Das: Mithu Sen is based in New Delhi an artist/poet who studied painting at Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, India and Glasgow School of Art, UK. Her practice revolves around creating situations of impossible possibility. Samit Das, born in 1970 in Jamshedpur, studied Fine Arts from Santiniketan Kala Bhavan and Post Experience Program from Camberwell College of Arts, London through British Council Scholarship [ CWIT]. He works in various mediums such as Painting, Photography, Collages and Artist’s Books creating multi-sensory environments through art and architectural installations
Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote: Nancy Adajania is a cultural theorist and curator based in Bombay. She was Joint Artistic Director of the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012) and has curated a number of exhibitions including, most recently, a cycle of video art for ‘Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video’, Jewish Museum, New York (2015). Ranjit Hoskote is a cultural theorist, curator and poet based in Mumbai. He is the author of 30 books, Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011), co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008)
Tara Lal & Mortimer Chatterjee: Mumbai based gallery Chatterjee & Lal was formed in 2003 by husband and wife Mortimer Chatterjee and Tara Lal. The gallery is focused on emerging and mid-career artists whose works reveal strong ties to India, and whose practices often incorporate the varying mediums of performance, moving image, drawing, painting and sculpture. Based in Mumbai’s Colaba art district, the gallery and its artists have formed an important node in the city’s maturing art scene over the last fourteen years.