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Posted at: Oct 11, 2017, 12:35 AM; last updated: Oct 11, 2017, 12:35 AM (IST)

For art’s sake

Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi awards Sohan Qadri Fellowship and also introduces a unique travelling scholarship for three young artists

Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi awards Sohan Qadri Fellowship and also introduces a unique travelling scholarship for three young artists

With a firm belief that art and artists not only need promotion, but also consistent financial  support to grow, experiment and excel in their fields of art practice and research, the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi has initiated annual scholarships and fellowships for both students and professional artists.

As part of one such endeavour, the Akademi has introduced the annual Sohan Qadri Fellowship of Rs 1 lakh, sponsored by the Sohan Qadri Foundation, with painter Sohan Qadri’s daughter Purvi Qadri, who lives in Canada, supporting and encouraging this Fellowship. “The Fellowship is aimed at providing talented artists a platform to develop new ideas in their disciplines and to encourage a deeper engagement with art,” says Bheem Malhotra, Chairperson of the Akademi.

This year (2017-2018), the Fellowship has been awarded to painter, installation, video, performance and land artist Manjot Kaur. 

The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi received 34 entries, out of which 21 were short-listed by the jury of eminent artists in the first round held in August this year. The second jury, comprising eminent artists Rameshwar Broota and Vasundhra Tewari Broota, after carefully studying the submitted art works and after detailed discussions and analysis, chose to award this year’s Sohan Qadri Fellowship to Manjot Kaur. There is no defined line, layer or language of art that Manjot expresses herself in, as she defies boundaries and barriers to create meanings and conversations with her art, which she says is a journey. A Master’s in Fine Arts from the Government College of Art, Manjot, during her MFA, was the first to experiment with multi-media, lending a video format to 22 of her paintings, in an effort to convey new meanings. Since then, the young artist has been experimenting with various elements in her work. “People, places, nature and natural surroundings form the basis of my work, as a result I am working outside studio and gallery spaces, with performance and land art an extension of my paintings and this coveted Fellowship will help me take my work to the next level,” says Manjot.

The jury, impressed with the quality and philosophy of the works submitted for the Fellowship, suggested that there should be a travelling scholarship/fellowship of Rs 25,000 in addition to the existing fellowship. The premise of the scholarship is to give young artists a chance to step outside the confines of their city and travel across India to various art colleges, institutions like Shantiniketan, attend workshops and seminars to view, explore, understand the varied work being done in the field of art, interact with artists from various states and practicing different art forms and also acquire more knowledge and skills in their area of practice. 

The jury, impressed with the works of sculptor Geetika Pathania, painter and print-maker Manisha Verma and sculptor Bebekanand Kapri, recommended their names for this unique travelling scholarship. “The idea of these initiatives is to provide young and upcoming artists a platform and space to create and express their ideas,” added Malhotra. — TNS

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