By Divya Parikh, Project Manager

03 February 2021 - 09:00

Person standing up looking at artwork on wall
Facing, by N S Harsha. Glynn Vivian Art Gallery ©

Polly Thomas

Divya Parikh, project manager, reviews collaborations in visual arts, an India-Wales digital festival event that looked at the productive relationships between the Welsh and Indian arts sectors. 

The collaborations in visual arts event looked at shared cultural narratives in the visual arts and collaborations across borders and cultures in India and Wales. The event was introduced by Janaka Pushpanathan, Director, British Council South India and chaired by Karen McKinnon, curator at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, in South Wales. The panel included Shuchi Kapoor; documentary photographer and co-founder of Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation, Katy Freer; exhibitions officer at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and David Drake; curator, writer, producer and director of Ffotogallery, .

David Drake spoke about the Dreamtigers India-Wales project, a collaboration between Ffotogallery and Nazar Foundation/Delhi Photo Festival. Dreamtigers is a collaborative project, which explores how technology and creative expression, along with a reshaped and reformed national identity, are deeply influencing modern society. He presented some inspiring images of the work of the artists involved in the project namely Sunil Gupta, Charan Singh, Akshay Mahajan, Sohrab Hura, Bharat Sikka, Karthik Subramaniam and Reshma Pritam Singh. He told the stories behind every image and spoke about the connections forged through the project. 

Katy Freer described the N S Harsha exhibition, FACING, which took place at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea in partnership with Artes Mundi. Through a series of powerful images Katy described how the exhibition was developed, and how they showcased a stunning structure created by N S Harsha, which was commissioned as part of the project, along with other works of art. 

Shuchi Kapoor described the Imagining the Nation State grant, a collaboration between Chennai Photo Biennale and Diffusion Festival/Ffotogallery. She spoke about how the collaboration came to life and talked about the future of the project. She also introduced the grant awardees, Dipanwita Saha, Huw Alden Davies, Palani Kumar and Sebastián Bustamante. 

Towards the end, our chair for the event Karen McKinnon emphasised the relationships that were formed and how this intertwining of cultures creates a legacy, giving people an opportunity to engage with ideas like nationality, climate change, identity, sustainability, equality and diversity on a global scale.

We ended the event with a question and answer session with some very interesting questions from the audience, including how to engage and involve young people with such festivals.

You can watch the full event here 

four people taking part in an online discussion
The collaborations in visual arts panel in action. From left to right; Shuchi Kapoor, David Drake, Katy Freer and Karen McKinnon. 

India-Wales digital festival: connections through culture was a series of online events, in partnership with British Council India, Wales Arts International and Welsh Government’s digital Diwali celebrations. The event lasted ten days, during November 2020, over the course of which we explored the past and current cultural work, of artists and cultural leaders in literature, theatre, music, dance, visual arts and craft. And it was through their work that we celebrated the connections and the ever-growing friendship between India and Wales. Through this event we aimed to further strengthen and enable creative collaboration between both nations in these difficult times. The event showcased and celebrated the work of artists from India and Wales who have been involved since 2017, or who were recently awarded in the 2019/20 Connections Through Culture: India-Wales grants programme. The event was a great success with an audience of thousands watching on platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. 

Photo of Divya Parikh, Project Manager

Divya Parikh

Project Manager