Goa Open Arts has revealed the six artist recipients of the inaugural Catalyst Grants. Announced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic amidst the rapid closure of art museums, galleries, universities and other spaces of artistic display and production, the Catalyst Grants were initiated with the intention of providing ongoing support to the artistic community of Goa via bursaries of `30,000 for art production.
The Catalyst Grants will support five artists under the general category, and an additional sixth artist is supported in the New Media Arts category, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai. In addition to the monetary support and access to mentorship opportunities, the six grantees will have their work exhibited at the next Goa Open Arts public programme scheduled to take place in February 2020.
The artists selected for the grant include new media artist Afrah Shafiq whose project will explore the twin narratives of Mother Mary and Shantadurga; painter and printmaker Asavari Gurav who proposes to explore Goan folktales using various media including watercolour, GIF animation and book-based art; performance maker and sculptor Bhisaji Gadekar, who’s project ‘Second Skin II’ will explore the changing face of Goan craftsmanship in the face of modernity and technology.
Weaver and textile artist Poonam Pandit of Kalakar Weaves who will draw upon the cultural, social and environmental narratives of fibre to create a series of tactile women compositions.
The sixth recipient is Komas, a three-piece band/artist collective (which includes Enit Maria, Minam Apang and Srinivas Mangipudi), who will be responding as artistes as well as citizens to the fast-track forest clearances in Goa, to bring to life a sound/music/visual composition ‘Mollem Resonance’ with the forest of Mollem as a living entity.
The Catalyst New Media Grant in collaboration with Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai has been awarded to Nandita Kumar. Kumar proposes to create a generative new media work based on deconstructing political statements related to varied environmental issues from the data gathered from across the globe.
In addition to receiving the grant, Kumar will also be invited to participate in the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai’s series of interdisciplinary, co-working labs focusing on arts and technology, to be organised in Mumbai in 2020-2021.
Goa Open Arts is a group of creative professionals living in Goa. The aim of the Goa Open Arts festival is to galvanise the creative talent pool that resides in Goa. In addition to the significant native population of Goa’s artists, makers and performers, a large number of designers, writers, artists, musicians, chefs, etc have come from all over the country and the world to make Goa their home. The festival is a platform where all can come together and create
While the festival is planned to be a recurring annual event, Open Arts Initiative is a permanent entity that intends to engage with Goa’s creative community throughout the year.
This may be in the form of workshops, residencies, mentoring events, school interactions and plenty more.