Hena Kapadia

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 partner – today we speak to gallery director Hena Kapadia

Hena at her gallery, TARQ

Where can you be found?


Tell us about a creative action you have taken this week.

Does figuring out a second lockdown count?

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 


What was the last thing you drew?

A sketch to figure out how many modules are required to produce a work.

Please share your thoughts / a few words about your expectations of the project. 

I hope it activates an area that has been badly hit by the pandemic.

Avantika Bawa

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 fellows – today we speak to artist Avantika Bawa

432  Drawing 02, 2019

Where can you be found?

In the ether. Or Portland, OR, USA. 😉

Tell us about a creative action you have taken this week.

I made chicken hearts using mostly intuition to guide my cooking approach and spices used. The dish was very good (sorry to eww the vegetarians in the group!).

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

Mere Bhaarat Mahan! But I do love Portland too. 🙂

What was the last thing you drew?

A pattern with several horizontal and vertical lines. A few diagonals too.

Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.

Walking without my phone or any technology. Brunelleschi’s David and the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, India. That’s three, sorry!

Please share your thoughts / a few words about your expectations of the project. 

Born of pandemic challenges and creative necessity, I collaborated remotely with my colleague, in the summer of 2020 to 3-D print a series of mini scaffolds in plastic. These miniatures, an extension of The Scaffold Series (an ongoing project that began in 2021) have allowed me to create temporary installations in a short time, and in the most bizarre locations despite the pandemic. The temporary mini-installations now exists only as photographs.

While the plastic version worked well as models for photographs (since the viewer cannot experience the texture), the next logical step was to print them in metal to have an object that was more substantial and sculptural. And so I worked with a company in New York City to test possibilities. The outcome was successful & resulted in a show, “Constructing Darkness” that was well reviewed in several reputable publications.

For my work in the “Show Windows Project”, I intend to create an another iteration of the “Scaffolds Series”. By exploring new terrain (a shop window in this case), and different ways of configuring these mini scaffolds, I will in essence highlight the endless possibilities of a single structure by pushing permutations and combinations of color, form and scale in relation to location.

I would ideally like to pair up with an architect who I can collaborate with remotely to make this installation successful. For the collaborating architect, it would be, I hope akin to playing with architectural models!

Interestingly, the very first iteration of “The Scaffold Series” took place at Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, India, for the show titled, “Another Documentation”, 2012. It would be interesting to bring that project back to the area, almost ten years later.

Mario Sundeep D’Souza

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 fellows – today we speak to artist Mario Sundeep D’Souza

Chapelle, Home away from home , 2020,

Where can you be found?


Tell us about a creative action you have taken this week.

Staying at home and receiving my friends for lunch and sharing our lives and how it would change the way we work in the day to come .

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

A place which is real , which make me feel all the emotions of everyday life.

What was the last thing you drew?

I am working on a dinner set , white ceramic and blue drawings, painting it and soon it will get into a collection.

Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.

Calico museum of textiles and my mothers saree collection!

Please share your thoughts / a few words about your expectations of the project. 

The experience of working together with other artists is something I cherish. The project I would work on is to celebrate the power of given space and acquired space, inside and out side, this space is not free, one has to get it , express it , decorate it. Economy and poetry go together in this space. A space to receive! Home away from home, a feeling expressed through my process of work , this process will be celebrated in the window,  a window into my life as an artist and the extension of my past, present and future. Time will be the connecting link to the concept of 1+1=1 home then+home now= home ? past + present = future. The window will be a transformation of the 3 elements…….

Looking & Longing exhibition

In May 2020 SqW:Lab director, Charlie Levine, was invited by 2018-19 fellow John Ros to deliver a spring short course on studioELL. studioELL is a Brooklyn-based, hybrid, transient, higher education fine art learning space that offers online and physical courses, residencies and programs in studio art.

Charlie decided to write a series of lecture and instructions for the artists / students that was an extension of her SqW:Lab 2020 Play Project – curating the home. The course, Curating the Domestic, asked the students to complete the module via the production of works for an exhibition to exist on the studioELL website. This curatorial focused short course invited participants to use their immediate surroundings to dive into personal and art historical research and develop exhibitions and artworks around ideas of ‘home’ within their domestic space.

Entitled Looking & Longing, this final exhibition included works by 2 SqW:Lab alumni Veeranganakumari Solanki and John Ros, and Director Vishwa Shroff, as well as Karen Levitov, William Hughes, Caitlin Griffiths, Jeannine Bardo, Melissa Staiger, Gemma Dunford, David Flindall and Laurie Nouchka.

Looking & Longing is curated into three themed rooms: Surfaces, Frames and Levels. Each ‘room’ exhibits a mix of the artists work and highlights ideas bought up as part of the workshops — bringing their natural visual surroundings to the fore.

Curatorial tropes, such as frames, plinths / shelves and the exploration of space, are evident is this series of works. The artists are all thinking curatorially with focus on context (the domestic) and space (our current environments) as much as what is within them (the objects, photographs, works of art or themselves).

This exhibition is available online on the studioELL website.

Top left: Untitled, Vishwa Shroff – Top right: 139 skillman avenue, 001-100, John Ros, Right: 139 skillman avenue, video, John Ros

Bottom: Domestic Outside, Veeranganakumari Solanki

Looking at: Memory Architecture Play Project

Looking through Zarina Hashmi’s print series “Homes I Made a Life in Nine Lines, 1997” and “Home is a Foreign Place, 1999”, Memory Architecture Play project investigates our notion and perception of homes trough mnemonic recollections. It aims to question spatial distortions of scale, objects and activities summoned during the process of recall.

While in Mumbai, fellows were asked to narrate their childhood homes, highlighting the experience of that space whilst responding to House + 1, a text that recalls Shroff’s home from 1980 to 84.

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