ChARTing the geography of the city through mental maps of contemporary artworks, with Christine Ithurbide, Art Researcher and Doctor in Geography from Paris Diderot University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Arzan Khambatta, prominent Sculptor and qualified Architect and Sunil Padwal, Leading Contemporary Artist in conversation with Abhay Sardesai, Editor of Art India, as they begin at the Kala Ghoda Arts District and venture into territories that are emerging as inclusive art hubs.
Christine Ithurbide is post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, New Delhi, working as an expert with UNESCO in India. Doctor in geography from Paris Diderot University/ CSRD Jawaharlal Nehru University, she is based between France and India since 2008. With a background in urban geography and art history, her researches focus on contemporary Indian art territories, circulations and globalization. In her thesis on the Geography of contemporary art in Bombay she questioned the mapping of contemporary art spaces in India, integrating the social and spatial dimensions of artistic practices and exploring mental maps. Her current projects concerns art industries, labor and informal networks, and the production of knowledge on cultural metropolises. She received a Grant-in-Aid from the Rockefeller Archive Center (2013) and was awarded the IRD Prize for Best Short-Film Screenplay (2015) for her documentary film on the invisible workers of contemporary Indian art.Read more
Arzan Khambatta calls himself an Architect by profession and a Sculptor by choice. Encouraged by his parents, he started sculpting after giving his 10th standard exams. He would scout the streets, garages, construction sites for scrap metal, collect the same and weld them into pieces of art he fondly christened “SCRAPTURES”. A word that has become synonymous with Arzan. What started off purely as a hobby, slowly began to yield income. He got his first public response in 1993 when he opened SCRAPTURES to the public at the Jehangir Art gallery in September, 1993.There was no looking back after that. Commissioned works started pouring in and now Khambatta’s works are found in corporate houses, hotels, and private collections around the world and range from six inches to seventy feet in height, The most prominent ones being the dolphins at Worli and the Ceat Rhino at Juhu Circle. Currently 11 solo shows and over 100 group shows around the country and the globe, Arzan has embarked on a venture that is close to his heart, namely Photography. He is passionate about his work and takes up challenges, which defy his own creativity. He lives by his favourite saying, which is ”THE IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES A LITTLE LONGER”.Read more
Abhay Sardesai has been the Editor of ART India, the premier art magazine of India, since November 2002. Under his editorship, the magazine has developed a Culture Studies-oriented approach and has become more inter-disciplinary in its theme-based explorations. He has been a Visiting Faculty in Aesthetics at the Department of English, University of Mumbai, and has also been the Chair of Humanities, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai. He teaches at TISS and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. He writes in English and translates from Marathi, Konkani and Gujarati. As an associate of the research collective PUKAR, he was the Director of the Writing Across the City project which explored the inter-relationships between literatures and literary cultures in the city of Mumbai. He has written widely on Art and Literature and read from his work at various places including the University of Princeton, University of Cambridge, Mumbai University, S.N.D.T. University and NGMA, among other places.Read more
Sunil Padwal studied at the J. J. School of Fine Art (1986) and the J. J. Institute of Applied Art (1989). He worked in advertising before becoming an artist full time. He is primarily a painter who has worked in varied mediums. His work comprises line drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations. He has shown his work extensively in India and his paintings have been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. He received the Communication Art Guild Award in 1990 and was felicitated showing promise as an emerging artist at the Harmony show in the same year. He also received the Society, Young Achievers’ Award in 2004. His public art includes- Mural at Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Artwork at Mumbai International Airport, Sculpture at New Delhi Metro station (Delhi Metro Airport Express Line station in New Delhi). Sunil is known for his anguished protagonist. His line drawing series is a culmination of memory, confused metropolis, changing cityscape, and various turpitudes of modern day society. Padwal seeks inspiration from different aspects of everyday life, including construction, pollution, a fast changing skyline, traffic, and humans and animals coexisting in today's concrete jungle. Sunil lives and works in Mumbai.Read more