Work in Progress: 2020 Solanki & Levine

As Covid-19 disrupted the world, so too did it disrupt the final Play Projects for the 2020 Fellows. Rather than present duo’s final projects, we’re sharing the works in progress instead, to allow ourselves the time to get them right.

Here is a draft of fellow, Veeranganakumari Solanki, and director, Charlie Levine’s Dining Play Project: V & C Curiosity Kitchen, as set by Katsushi Goto. Levine and Solanki’s Play Project is realised as a book that the two curators invite you to open at any point and to play, make notes in, share and never finish.

Tarla Patel

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 fellow – today we speak to artist  Tarla Patel

Projections of the Past onto Bodies of the Present

Where can you be found?

UK, Coventry and online

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

I have connected with a young person in Canada, to help with my father’s archive photography. She has shared an extraordinary set of family images taken by father, and I will be interviewing three generations of women from this family to find out the stories they remember and what it means to them now.

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

Home, is a place where your heart feels most comfortable, and eases the pain of loss and the fire of interaction.

What was the last thing you drew?

self portrait, with my left hand with a biro (right handed)

Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.

My parents, with growing up above a photography studio, learning and watching them interact with people and developing my love of photography and film. One quote from my A-Level teachers in Art – don’t read E.H Gombrich’s book The Story of art, it’s sexist. It made me thing about women in art and also how western art dominates everyone’s perception of good art.

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

I hope to be an integral part of the fellowship, connecting with other artist on an international level, sharing ideas and seeing how they develop. I look forward to sharing my work in Mumbai and getting to know the artist from this city. Mumbai is a place I flitted through from a visit to relatives in the Gujarat as a child, to a taste of the international arts scene in 2017. This project will give me a better understanding on working with an international organisation to create and deliver work. Learning how to communicate my intentions and showcasing work to a new audience. I see the similarities in the aims of Show Windows, with the regeneration and interest of what is happening in Coventry’s City of Culture. Inspiring people to revisit at their hometown and the culture within it. I am looking forward to making people think about the art they see and the connection between two cities and its people. My work will show case South Asian people that predominately moved from India to the UK from the Masterji photography archive.

Emma Critchley

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 fellow – today we speak to artist  Emma Critchley

Then Listens for Returning Echoes, 2016

Where can you be found?

Brighton, UK

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

Designing installation for upcoming exhibition in Venice

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

Family

What was the last thing you drew?

Ideas for exhibition installation layout

Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.

water, people

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

I’m particularly interested in showing work in public places and it will be interesting to see how the work resonates with people in this new context. Looking forward to seeing and sharing projects amongst the other fellows.

Ranjit Kandalgaonkar

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 fellow – today we speak to artist Ranjit Kandalgaonkar

Assemblage #2, 2012.

Where can you be found?

In and around Borivali, Mumbai where I live or online nowadays at http://instagram.com/gentricity

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

I draw all the time……it’s difficult to switch off, not sure its all creative.

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

I’ve never meant to answer that……but if I were to, I’d say home would be where I’m comfortable….specific periods of time spent with a set of people…. my studio……. immediate family…… friendships……….a walk through the city…..

What was the last thing you drew?

I am in the middle of organising my old projects, so I’m pulling out a lot of old sketchbooks/drawings I’ve made or even don’t remember making. I’ve been completing them, if I feel the need to.

Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.

Over time, the counsel & support of friends/fly, and 2nd is usually material around the project I’m involved in, which latently influence the work to follow

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

It’s a balancing act, to attract and engage a site specific-public art project while bringing forth in this scenario, other imaginations of the home. I look forward to the exciting prospect of tackling a site that has to possibly attract someone’s attention, pique their curiosity, not put them off hopefully, but be intrigued enough to take some time out of their day to come have a look, to pause, reflect and hopefully leave thinking about things differently than they were. I also very much look forward to the act of collaboration with everyone involved in our Show Rooms project. It’s the part I look forward to the most.

Samanta Batra Mehta

Get to know SqW:Lab 2021 fellow – today we speak to artist  Samanta Batra Mehta

Bindu / Cosmic Egg, 2016

Where can you be found?

Home. Even though I have studio, I work from home a lot. I’m around my kids which I love. In the old days I used to have a sort of traveling studio and would work wherever I could. As someone wise said, “wherever you go, there you are”. My mind is all over the place though.

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

A creative action…of course art-making fits into this, but also making a lovely meal, experiencing the fecundity of summer, making plans, letting my mind wander a bit. The pandemic has caused both an intensity of engagement but also an intentional distancing from it. My creating has been more contained, purposeful. It takes a while for my plans to bear fruition though. The short answer is, I’m finishing up a commission this week. It’s comprised of 20 books on which I have drawn, collaged and cut.

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

This is a very, very complicated question for me. Is home a feeling or is home where you’re located? Like scores of people who have emigrated from somewhere, the idea of home is unresolved. I’m wondering about home as a physical space and also something we refine along the way. I’m still trying to work it out. Creating art for store windows in Bombay, in Colaba where I grew up, is a home-coming of sorts. What it evokes in me is something magical: the pregnant monsoon, wet earth, heavy salt air. The untamed grey sea. I can’t really contain my ideas.

What was the last thing you drew?

I drew an embryo in a womb, and from it grew this dense, tangled foliage. It is drawing about desire. The thing about desire is that it can be read in many ways. You could think of it in Freudian terms as a need from the body, this hunger. But desire is so much more, it is expansive. It is that which we want, but we cannot have, or which we think we cannot have. It is something forbidden. Hidden. Sometimes desire is something which we are conditioned to think we want (but we don’t really). Desire is both evoked and shaped by our culture and society and also constrained by it. Everybody has desires.

Tell us about 2 of your most subtle influences.

Being in the flow and seeing where the line will go, letting go of perfectionism in my work. There is so much more fun in being surprised and growing with it. Keeping my mind receptive and open to that early morning liminal, pre-conscious state- when many of my creative ideas emerge. Both are basic and subtle influences but have had considerable impact on my work.

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

There are many things that excite me about this project. The coming together with the curatorial team and artists during this really difficult time has felt tremendously special. I look forward to connecting and engaging with each ones creative process as the project unfolds. There is such joy at the thought of making artwork to be exhibited in store windows of my childhood neighborhood. The idea of home and nostalgia brings me back to those days of childhood wonderment, magic and play. Much has changed since I left Bombay but I want to re-engage with the community and open up a space for revitalization, enchantment and a sense of hope.