Sanskriti Art Awards


This to encourage and honour individuals, partners or groups representing different aspects of contemporary visual practices – painting including traditional and folk forms, handicrafts, graphics, sculpture, photography, internet, web and video art, as well as interdisciplinary practices.

Last three years Awardees

Ranjani Shettar
Tejal Shah
Prajakta Potnis
Employing organic materials invested with tradition and history, Ranjani creates multidimensional works that bring forth the metaphysical attributes of residing within a changing physical environment. Shettar’s work embodies the relationships between the future and past, exposing the permeability of the often-distinct thresholds between craft and art, tradition and modernity, and the physical and the spiritual.

Transforming simple and mundane materials into the magical, Shettar uses materials such as muslin, tamarind powder, old car parts, lacquered wood and wax beads in her installations, appearing effortlessly natural but at the same time intricately crafted, to evoke the multiple, intersecting histories of the material. It also alludes to cycles of consumption and commodification, prompting analysis of what a technology-driven modernity’s relationship is to nature.

Inspired by nature and drawn from experience, Shettar’s work combines movement in form and content in which exacting lines sculpted in space are invested with the attributes of the employed materials, as in Just a bit more, a monumental installation of thread and tiny beads of wax or in Me, No, Not Me, Buy Me, Eat Me, Wear Me, Have Me, Me, No, Not Me, in which old car parts are woven into elegant and organic flowing forms.

Philippe Verne, Director of Dia Art Foundation, described : “The driving force behind Ranjani’s work is a poetics of Space. Whether destined for public, private, or even intimate settings, her art takes account of the physical-almost molecular, organic-and emotional nature of the space in question”.

Tejal is a visual artist working with video, photography, performance, sound and installation. Her work, like herself, is feminist, queer and political. Her works have been exhibited widely in museums, galleries and film festivals including, Lost and Found - Queerying the Archive, Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, 2009; Asian Triennial Manchester, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2008; City of Women International Festival of Contemporary Arts, Ljubljana, 2007; Global Feminisms - the inaugural show at the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, NY, 2007; Saturday Live, Tate Modern, London, 2006; Sub-Contingent at The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2006; Indian Summer at The Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris, 2005. Solo exhibitions include “What are You?”, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, 2006; The Tomb of Democracy, Alexander Ochs Gallery, Berlin, 2003. Her work is in the collection of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Lekha and Anupam Poddar collection, New Delhi and several private collections in India and abroad.

In 2003-4, she co-founded, organised and curated Larzish – India’s premier International Film Festival of Sexuality and Gender Plurality. She grew up in central India, Chhattisgarh, eventually moving to Mumbai in 1995. She holds a BA in photography from RMIT, Melbourne and has been an Exchange Scholar at the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently finishing her MFA part-time from Bard College, New York, Tejal works out of her laptop and Mumbai city.


Prajakta’s work dwells between the intimate world of an individual and the world outside sometimes separated only by a wall. “Walls” intrigue her as they are a witness to history and have traces of inhabitance embedded in them. As much as a wall might be sealed, there tends to be porosity that allows things from the outside to come home or vice versa. In between these public and private spaces various elements transgress and remain as residues of this phenomena.

By transforming the everyday mundane experiences into fantastical imageries, her attempts are to create escape routes within the chaos of the city. Her works try to reflect a sense of irony experienced in day-to-day life.

Prajakta’s practice tries to trace these imperceptible elements that affect the psyche of individuals. Her practice has involved painting, site-specific sculptural installations and photography. In 2010, her work was exhibited in a traveling museum show, “Indian Highway“ at the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark and the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Norway. Her work is also part of “India Awakens - Under the Banyan tree “at The Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Austria.

Prajakta has also been featured in significant publications like ‘I’m Not There: New Art from Asia,’(2010) Edited by Cecilia Alemani published by The Gwangju Biennale Foundation. In 2009 she was also featured in Younger than Jesus : The artist directory co-published by the New Museum and Phaidon.


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