Emami Art, one of India’s leading contemporary art galleries based in Kolkata is hosting an online exhibition ‘Āroh’ that brings together diverse artists from across India on an exciting platform displaying varied practices and languages delving into diverse topical concerns.
These twelve artists are the winners of the first Emami Art Open Call – Mentorship and Exhibition Programme 2020 curated by Ushmita Sahu and were chosen by a team of the jury from over two hundred plus applicants.
The open call which was an extension of the mentorship program that Emami Art was running for the past few months, invited entries from individuals working on/with paper to provide talented artists a platform to exhibit their works, as well as support them in the form of mentorship and advisory from senior artists from the fraternity.
Emami Art is also cognizant of the fact that in many cases language becomes a barrier, hence, this open call encouraged applications in multiple languages- Hindi, Bangla & English. The twelve selected artists are Anirban Saha and Arindam Sinha (Kolkata), Arpita Akhanda (Cuttack), Daina Mohapatra (New Delhi), David Malaker (Kolkata), Debashish Paul (Nadia), Dhara Mehrotra (Bangalore), Janhavi Khemka (Varanasi), Kalpana Vishwas (Santiniketan), Kumar Ranjan (Faridabad), Manisha Agrawal (Lucknow) and Neelesh Yogi (Indore).
Capturing assorted concerns of the times, Āroh illustrates the exciting range of practices and languages such as – recording the ongoing pandemic as an artist’s book (Anirban Saha), loneliness and depression (Arindam Sinha), migration as a lens weaving together past and present events (Arpita Akhanda), exploration of female sexuality (Daina Mohapatra), inhabiting space as a memory (David Malaker), coming to terms with queer identity (Debashish Paul), connecting mycelium networks as a metaphor of human existence (Dhara Mehrotra), struggling to find an inner voice in the face of hearing disability (Janhavi Khemka), exploring the silent mysteries of nature (Kalpana Vishwas), self-taught practice as a commentary on the banal (Kumar Ranjan), environmental awareness in the face of rampant urbanization (Manisha Agrawal) and the psychological and emotional connections in a middle-class household (Neelesh Yogi).
In the absence of physical human connection and with the current movement drastically limited, many artists have turned inwards for inspiration.
For some, this means reaching into the back sequences of their memories and for others, it’s all about creating new fantasy worlds and landscapes, all these emotions are well displayed in most of the artworks in the exhibition.
The selected participants received a one-on-one mentorship session plus portfolio review from the five mentors who are eminent art practitioners like Adip Dutta, visual artist & educator; Jagannath Panda, visual artist; Praneet Soi, visual artist; Prasanta Sahu, visual artist & educator; TV Santhosh, a visual artist as well as Emami Art CEO Richa Agarwal and project curator Ushmita Sahu. Our mentors provided invaluable insight and constructive criticism for improvement, and generously guided and challenged the mentees to think laterally.
A successful mentoring relationship will allow the shortlisted artists to access a pool of experience that is larger, or at least diverse, from their own. It is a trusting relationship where mentees can discuss issues and concerns in confidence, benefitting from their mentor’s advice and experience. The mentors will also be reviewing their mentee’s progress after a few months.
Ms Richa Agarwal, CEO, Emami Art says, “The Open Call and the current online exhibition is perfectly in sync with the larger ethos of Emami Art, which has long been operating as a springboard for the young artists to launch their careers. I would like to thank all artists who submitted their works and congratulate those who have been selected for the exhibition.”
She further added, “I sincerely thank Ushmita Sahu for conceptualizing and curating this wonderful show. I am deeply grateful to all our mentors for giving us so much time, and thoughtful insights. The learnings will provide the participant with the artist’s vital experience and recognition, and offer insights into the professional world of modern and contemporary art.”
The online exhibition starts from 30th September 2020 and will be available on Emami Art’s website till 30th October 2020.