Get to know SqW:Lab 2024 fellow – today we speak to architect Rohan Shivkumar
Where can you be found?
Tell us about a creative action you have taken this week.
Wrote a paper called ‘Drag Queens and Cannibals’
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
A space on the other side of the mirror- to be longed for, but never achieved
What was the last thing you cooked?
Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.
The Grid. Pop Music.
Please share your thoughts / a few words about your expectations of the project.
Would it be too premature for me to say that I wish the Fellowship to be a space of play? The Fellowship for me is time and space taken out of the rhythms of everyday life where I hope we can test our presumptuous, biases and predilections through collective discovery, conversation and action. It can be a space where we can allow for new ideas to emerge out of the interactions between differences- a liminal space where encounters between disciplines and subjectivities can open out the possibility for comfort, ease, laughter, irony and joy.
Introducing the two India based artists that will be featuring in the upcoming exhibition, KK Treasure, curated. by SqW:Lab director, Charlie Levine, in the soon to be home of the Lab’s archive, KK Chambers – Dilip Chobisa and Sukhdev Rathod.
Dilip Chobisa – Through Dilip Chobisa’s constructed rendition of the mystery, the idea of the hidden is formed by what is revealed. This is achieved by way of a curtain, a hallway, a beam of light or a suggestive stairway. He disregards the laws of architecture, yet creates an order of intrigue and curiosity. His drawings are defined by light or the lack of it, suggesting dark silences and pronounced emptiness. He challenges the limits of perception and makes visible the possibility of a space beyond the defined. He also dabbles with photography.
The artist has participated in several group shows including Working Space—around memory and perception, curated by Roobina Karode and presented by Paradox and 1×1 Gallery, Singapore; In you is the Illusion of Each Day, curated by Maya Kovskaya in Latitude 28 ; Aicon Gallery, London . He has also shown at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Leila Heller Gallery, New York; Gallery Espace, Delhi to name a few. His public art projects include the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Commission, Mumbai  and the Indira Gandhi International Airport Commission, New Delhi . He has been the recipient of the Harmony Art Foundation Emerging Artist award of the Year, 2008. The Devi Art Foundation, the R.P.G Collection, Harmony Art Foundation, Uttrayan Foundation, Patrons of Tel Aviv Museum, the Gwangju Museum of Art and several other private and public enterprises have collected his work.
The artist lives and works in Baroda.
Sukhdev Rathod – Sukhdev Rathod is based in Mumbai. He studied painting at M.S. University of Baroda, India. He has since gone on to focus specifically on ceramics and creating sculpture.
Introducing the four UK based artists that will be featuring in the upcoming exhibition, KK Treasure, curated. by SqW:Lab director, Charlie Levine, in the soon to be home of the Lab’s archive, KK Chambers – Dawn Beckles, CJ Mahony, Liz West and Alice Wilson.
Dawn Beckles’ interpretation of the classic still life is unparalleled in her use of vibrant colour and contemporary settings depicted alongside her recurring subject matter, the exotic flora inspired by her native Barbados. A mixed media artist specialising in combining painting, collage and screen printing, Dawn frequently parallels found images of man-made beauty with those of the natural world. It is in Dawn’s paintings that one will find high fashion, bespoke interiors juxtaposed with orchids and birds of paradise painted from her private collection.
Her work can be found in the Soho House Collections at Shoreditch House and Soho Farmhouse Receptions, at 180 The Strand and private collections worldwide.
CJ Mahony lives and works in Cambridge (UK). They studied Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art and completed their MA at Camberwell College of Art in 2012.
CJ has undertaken a large number of publicly funded commissions including The Tate, National Theatre Scotland, ITV, National Trust, The Cambridge Junction and Opera North amongst others.
Their work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions internationally and in the UK including; My mind had been everywhere and nowhere, Pavilion Pavilion, Glasgow (2019 solo); The Water Colour Room, HISK, Belgium (2018 group); New Hall Art Collection, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (2016 solo); Block 336, London (2014 group); situ projects, Cornwall (2010 solo); Aurora Arts Festival, Norwich (2007 solo) and Wysing Arts Centre (2006 solo) amongst others.
CJ works as a tutor, mentor, and lecturer, most recently at Glasgow School of Art.
Liz West is a British artist known for her wide-ranging works, from the intimate to the monumental. Using a variety of materials and exploring the use of light, she blurs the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, design and painting to create works that are both playful and immersive.
West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. West aims to provoke a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer through her works. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour. West’s investigation into the relationship between colour and light is often realised through an engagement between materiality and a given site. Our understanding of colour can only be realised through the presence of light. By playing and adjusting colour, West brings out the intensity and composition of her spatial arrangements.
West has been commissioned worldwide by institutions and organisations including Natural History Museum, London Design Festival, Paris Fashion Week, Milan Design Week, National Trust, National Science and Media Museum, Dubai Design Week, Natural England, Salford University, Fortnum & Mason and Bristol Biennial. West’s work has been included in exhibitions at St Albans Museum + Gallery, Chester Cathedral, Compton Verney, Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris, Kraftwerk Berlin, Tripostal Lille and Bangalore International Centre.
Alice Wilson is a London based artist who works in a variety of mediums. She teaches at University of the Arts London, University of East London and at MASS, part of the Turps education programme.
Alice’s practice has developed through an engagement with participatory processes and negotiations of site. She identified the use of residencies as a way to gain distance and make space for the unknown in her work, with significant opportunities being realised through funding from the British Council and Arts Council England to make and exhibit work in Aarhus, Denmark during 2018 and Merz Barn Cumbria, 2017. Exhibiting widely both nationally and internationally, solo exhibitions include: A Mild Epiphany On My Bike at domobaal gallery, London, Sept 2021 to February 2022; one hundred and eighty-nine at 303 Projects, Lowestoft, UK. Other recent exhibitions include: New Forms at the Saatchi Gallery, London, September 2022, Ghostly Matters a collaboration with Slovenian artists Neja Tomšič, The Contact Layer at Pictura, Montreal, Canada, December 2020 and Painting and Other Bad Habits at Charlotte Fogh Gallery, Aarhus, Denmark, 2018.
The site responsive exhibition, KK TROVE, is a new selection of commissioned works by Dawn Beckles, Dilip Chobisa, CJ Mahony, Sukhdev Rathod, Liz West and Alice Wilson. Here’s a little behind the scenes of the installation as we get ready to take part in Mumbai Gallery Weekend.
SqW:Lab founders Katsushi Goto, Rosie van Mierlo and Vishwa Shroff have created a new zine, entitled Everyday Volume 3 for Bombay Duck. The co-director of which is inaugural Lab fellow, Sameer Kulavoor.
“Everyday is a series of zines that broadly looks at ‘everyday’ from different perspectives. In an effort to explore new formats of art books and storytelling, each volume is an experiment created using images and words by an artist and a writer.
In this volume, artist-architect duo Vishwa Shroff and Katsushi Goto, and curator/critic Rose van Mierlo record rituals surrounding food; reflecting on domesticity and convergence of cultures around the dining table.”