India’s only daily art newspaper

In 120 Years the Royal College of Art with Serendipity Arts Foundation Opened its Studios to an Artist of South Asian Origin

Serendipity Arts Foundation (SAF) and the Royal College of Art (RCA) have forged a partnership to launch the inaugural edition of a Senior Artist Residency programme. This collaboration is the first time in 120 years that RCA has opened its studios to an artist of South Asian origin. Sukanya Ghosh has been selected as the artist in residence for the 2024 edition. She will be immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of RCA’s campuses in London during her three-month journey.

 “Sukanya is the first South Asian Artist-in-Residence at the Royal College of Art and we are delighted to welcome her. The RCA community will be enriched by her work with family archives and memory, and we very much hope she will benefit from being amongst the world’s largest community of postgraduate artists. I am grateful for our partnership with Serendipity Arts Foundation,” says Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor of the Royal College of Art.

Courtesy – Serendipity Arts Foundation

The Senior Artist Residency offers an invaluable opportunity for established Indian artists to enrich their artistic practices, engage with students and professionals at RCA, and contribute to a broader artistic discourse through cultural exchange. Sukanya will have access to RCA’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and closely engage with the MA courses in ‘Contemporary Art Practice’ and ‘Curating Contemporary Art’ to further develop her work.

“We are thrilled to partner with the prestigious Royal College of Art and facilitate this enriching creative exchange. Sukanya’s residency marks a significant milestone as the first South Asian Artist-in-Residence at the institute. This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to fostering cross-cultural dialogues and providing platforms for artistic expression that transcends boundaries.” says Smriti Rajgarhia Director, Serendipity Arts Festival & Foundation.

Courtesy – Serendipity Arts Foundation

Sukanya’s artistic practice spans painting, photography, animation and moving images, as her storytelling explores questions of belonging, identity and place. For her residency project, Sukanya is using everyday household and grocery lists from her grandmother’s notebooks as a starting point to deliberate on the larger exploration of “travel, displacement and being somewhere else while deciphering the things that ground individuals”. Sukanya’s preoccupation with “to-do lists” isn’t new as almost a decade ago, she did a project that engaged with the idea of lists and making connections through them. Interestingly, her grandmother’s notebooks have entries that date back to 1973, offering an insight into the socio-economic minutiae of a developing nation. 

The residency began in April and Sukanya is exploring various creative lenses to create a conversation between these scribbles and photographic images. She is visiting second-hand bookstores and flea markets in London and using found and archival material from there; capturing images of monuments and places of travel to initiate conversations through the written word and the image to find a meeting point that centres on the question of longing and belonging. Presently, she is in the exploratory process of identifying processes and materials that will eventually culminate into a project before the residency ends on July 8.

Courtesy – Serendipity Arts Foundation

“It is an amazing experience. It’s great to be in an environment that provides access to extensive facilities across three campuses, including the various workshops and the library that gives ample support to creative explorations. The CAP (Contemporary Art Practice) studio where I am embedded for two months offers a space where I am surrounded by students with varied art practices, methods and materials. This interdisciplinary approach creates an interesting synergy that sparks ideas, connections and directions,” says Sukanya Ghosh.

This residency also aims to bridge the artistic landscapes between India and the UK, creating an environment that fosters growth, collaboration, and a deeper understanding of contemporary art from both cultures. The culmination of the residency will manifest in an exhibition or talk in London, followed by a showcase of Sukanya’s work at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2024 in Goa from December 15-22.

Courtesy – Serendipity Arts Foundation

About Serendipity Arts

Serendipity Arts is an arts and cultural development foundation created to encourage and support the arts as a significant contributor to civil society. It aims to promote new creative strategies, artistic interventions, and cultural partnerships that are responsive and seek to address the social, cultural, and environmental milieu of South Asia. SAF’s programmes impact education, create social initiatives, foster community development and explore multidisciplinary forays in the arts, with a special focus on South Asia.

About Serendipity Arts Festival

The Foundation’s primary initiative and largest project, the Serendipity Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts event held annually every December in Goa. Spanning the visual, performing and culinary arts, the Festival’s programming includes music, dance, visual arts, craft, photography, film, and theatre. The Festival addresses pressing social issues such as arts education and pedagogy, cultural patronage, interdisciplinary discourse, and access to the arts. The 2024 edition is in Panjim, Goa from December 15-22.

Courtesy – Serendipity Arts Foundation

Image Courtesy – Serendipity Arts Foundation

SAF 2023: Are You Ready for South Asia’s biggest interdisciplinary art festival?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *