Impression of Artists

Fran Callen – Helpmann Academy, Australia

The experience of staying at Sanskriti Kendra itself, it was like living in some kind of artist's paradise for six weeks. To be surrounded by such inspiring people of varied talents and backgrounds, the peaceful garden, the fascinating art galleries

(and there's elements of the art in those - particularly the everyday art museum -that still influence the direction of art I make now) and that amazing food, and just to have the freedom to soak ourselves in India, and to share our ideas, and make art, it was absolutely awesome. The connection with the other artists on our residency, continues, and we meet up and collaborate on art ventures quite regularly in different ways. And there continues to be references to India in each artists work. The experience of working with the children at Jamghat Boys Home, and at Dhanak Din Festival, was moving and eye opening, and I have a large collection of photos, which I aim to use as source material for paintings.

So, the experience of that residency at Sanskriti Kendra continues to influence the art I make now, and it's only a start, as I have many more plans related to the material I collected there.

Seyda Sever [Turkey] Photographer UNESCO 2001

“As a photographer I spent most of my time working in Delhi City. …when I came back to Sanskriti it felt like coming home…I learnt so much about Indian culture and life as well as other cultures. Sanskrit gave me a perfect environment to reflect and most beautiful people from India and the rest of the world to interact with and sometimes it was enlightening. I made many friends.”

Lham Dorji [Bhutan] South Asian Program 2001-2002

“Sanskriti is not simply a place of intellectual development. It rather contributes towards individual's realisation of the need for his or her mutual co-existence with the natural environment”

Gretchen Cochran –Professor Otterbein University, Ohio, USA

We found the facilities to be significantly developed. The textile museum is fantastic, as was The tour with the resource person. Students enjoyed the privacy the lounge provided from the social challenges of group housing. Improved lighting made a big difference in students' being able to work at night. We enjoyed all of the resource presentations. Students really enjoyed the person who taught us about Warli painting. The evening with the Rajasthani performers was well beyond our expectations. All resource sessions were very valuable.

Making trips to both Jaipur and Agra in so short a time, was a bit taxing, but I would hate to think of our not having the visits to village printers .
The Sanskriti staff was amazing. They helped in every way imaginable to anticipate and to meet a wide variety of requests. The Education students in particular, appreciated the opportunity to visit a school. The Heritage tours were substantial, well planned, well presented and memorable. Thank you. The intellectual high point of the trip was the conversation with Dr. Jain. His remarks dislodged us from our parochial assumptions and challenged us to think more deeply and from a broader perspective.

Sanskriti facilities provided an oasis from the rigors of travel, and set the stage for both serious thought and personal insight. This is truly a magical place. The opportunity to interact with students and artists from several different countries was invaluable.

We are very grateful for the significant efforts so many of you invested in our visit.

Oliver Barstow [South Africa], UNESCO Aschberg Bursaries for Creative Writing, 2005-2006

"The experience I gained at Sanskriti was invaluable to my development as a person. The nature of the residency provided the space in which to explore new ideas and new modes of expressing these ideas without any parameters being set or any sort of teacher-student relationship being enforced.

Although I entered the residency program as a writer I found the environment far more conducive to the production of visual work. It has long been my ambition to explore ways in which writing – the book in particular – might interact with visual imagery. I used the time at the residency to explore this relationship more fully and much of the work I produced could be more comfortably defined in this dual relationship. It also seems that I was not alone in this experience. Other artists who conventionally worked in visual mediums ended up experimenting with the written word. Being based in Delhi was one of the highlights of the stay, affording the oppurtunity to meet a range of locals involved in the arts and to interact on a daily basis the organised chaos of this metropolis. This was three months of my life that I will never forget".

Sudarshan Shetty [India] 1993

“There's a kind of art that lives and breathes in the gallery, on its own. But there is also another form of art, which lives more in the open and interacts more palpably with its audience. I feel myself moving closer to the latter.”

Sally Burton, Visual Artist, New Zealand 2006-2007

"I have been inspired to use Sanskriti’s collection of vessel forms as a narrative vehicle. Acknowledging that clean packaged drinking water has been a wonderful thing for this country, the vast quantities of waste generated from plastic bottles evokes nostalgia for the beauty of traditional water vessels.

From a base of Tapa Cloth (traditional Pacific Island material made from beaten paper mulberry bark) I have collaged water bottle labels and overlayed painted forms of Sanskriti’s collection of water containers – Lots, Kalasha & Kumbha. Working in modular units of nine, a simple bowl form has also been used to explore gender issues.

Light transparent bowl forms become the female principal and reversed; dense and solid; the male principal with reference to the Shiva Lingam. The many layers of India’s immense history and diversity is my third series, again over layed with simple bowl forms. This universal shape has for me become a symbol for humanity; open to ideas and offerings; generous; and full of potential".

Vicky Shukuroglou, UNESCO Aschberg Bursaries for Visual Arts, 2006-2007
"My residency at Sanskriti Kendra as a result of a UNESCO Arts Bursary was extremely enriching and informative for the development of my arts practice. The interaction and exchange with fellow international artists, local individuals and groups, was a valuable experience.

A highlight of my residency was a series of arts workshops I conducted a workshop with a group of street children from the Salaam Baalak Shelter in New Delhi. The primary aims of these workshops was to introduce participants to alternative and imaginative methods of visualising and creating, to give them the opportunity to express their ideas and responses, and to help them realise the potential of applying creative thinking in everyday situations…..…...

There was a striking and rapid transition from their restricted and timid expression at the start of the workshop series, to a bold and free depiction of their personal journeys. The workshops were supported by Sanskriti and YouthReach, which offered a new opportunity for the children to experience Sanskriti and its museums.
Sanskriti’s support with transport for the children and some materials was of significant assistance, and the welcoming of thechildren to the grounds was greatly appreciated".

Oscar Vargas de Calderon [Mexico] UNESCO Visual Artist 1996-1997

"In the Kendra I share my time in working and talking with the other artists in the residency, with them I traveled within the country….As a person the programme allowed me to know closer another country and his people. As a painter it was a good opportunity to work with the facilities provided by the Kendra. And as an artist it was an important step in my career , to realisation my vocation and to enrich my experience.”


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