As Senior Advisor at SNEHA and Project Head of Dekha Undekha, Priya Agrawal believes that this project is the first in a series of workshops that aim to foster dialogue between the marginalised of Mumbai and the privileged masses and policy makers on issues of health through the medium of art. She notices that all the participants have enhanced their skills in their art forms and have evolved in confidence and self-expression.
David Osrin is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science who works with SNEHA on research about women’s and children’s health. For Dekha Undekha, he works as Senior Advisor. He helped to conceive the Dekha Undekha project and is amazed by its success. He states, “Ideally, the project is more about a process than a product, and I have enjoyed the unfolding of the process and the ways in which the artists have worked health issues into art.”
As part of the Advisory Board, R. Sriram set up Landmark in 1988, set up Walden in Hyderabad in 1990 and then the Crossword chain. He is now the CEO of Next Practice Retail which provides business design, incubation and consulting services for consumer & retail businesses. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of Pratham Books, the non-profit that publishes affordable books for children in multiple Indian languages.
Also on the Advisory Board is Jyoti Karmakar Lalwani who brings with her years of experience of being part of the coordinating committee for the Kalaghoda Arts Festival.
Vinod G Nair, founder and CEO of Clea Public Relations, is a dynamic person on the Advisory Board.
Jacob Mathew has been personally involved in the evolution of organized retail in India. He is the CEO and one of the founders of Idiom Design. Jacob is very interested in how organizations work and the development of communities in the work space. He is part of the Advisory Board.
Dr. Wasundhara Joshi was with SNEHA since its inception. She is currently a trustee at SNEHA and helped in the conception of the Dekha Undekha programme.
Kshitija Kanbur cooks, reads, dances and paints on days when she is not working for SNEHA as a consultant and as project co-ordinator for Dekha Undekha. She feels the project is a fun, creative and interesting way of marrying health and art, much like Konkona Sen Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor from Wake Up Sid. She says, “It’s a learning experience not just for the participants but for me too.”
Benita Fernando documents work at Dekha Undekha through the articles, visuals and Facebook updates. She has a fantastic time recording the lives, stories and moments that flood the Dekha Undekha spaces at Santa Cruz and Dharavi.
MEET THE MENTORS
Driven by curiosity, Nandita Kumar has explored a range of art forms such as animation, painting, printmaking, 16mm film, photography, dance and theatre. So, it was natural move to take up a position where she was needed to conceptualize the structure on which these varied workshops would be held. Nandita’s artistic expressions have been shown in various festivals and exhibitions throughout the world including Los Angeles county Museum(LACMA), REDCAT, The New Zealand International Film Festival, Film Anthology Archive NY, Indian Art Summit, The Rome International Film festival, Stuttgart Animation Festival and the Best of Sydney Underground Festival DVD. She says, “The Dekha Undekha project has been one of the main projects for me where I feel a phenomenal change happening. Women who walked in introverted have become strong, talkative, creatively abound, conceptually opinionated, proud, funny and cheeky.” Go to www.nanditakumar.com for more insight into her art.
Susie Vickery has been working as a costume maker, making theatrical costumes for theatre and film for thirty years. For the last twelve years she has also been working with women’s handicraft groups in Nepal, India, China and Gaza designing and developing new products. She has won a prize from the UNESCO, made Hugh Jackman’s costume for Beauty and the Beast and exhibited at the William Morris Museum, London. She loves cycling and loves working on this project as it combines her love of handicrafts and art. She feels it is very stimulating trying to get the women to develop their ideas for artworks and incredibly exciting when they come up with very original ideas. Get to know her more at www.susievickery.com
A Mumbai based photographer, Sudharak Olwe has exhibited work on various social issues at India, Bangladesh, Sweden, Portugal, Holland, United States and Japan. In 1999-2000 he was the recipient of the National Foundation Media Fellowship. In 2004, he published his first book, Spirited Souls: Winning Women of Mumbai (Samay Books) and last year he was honoured with the prestigious All Roads Photographers Award from National Geographic which included an exhibition of his work on street workers of Mumbai in Los Angeles, California and Washington DC. He is currently heading the Photography Promotion Trust (PPT), a registered public charitable trust based in Mumbai, India. More about Sudharak at www.sudharakolwe.com
Anjani Khanna believes that you should make clay while the sun shines. She graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Cambridge. She worked for several years as a policy analyst and science editor at the Centre for Science and Environment and Down to Earth magazine in Delhi. Her tryst with ceramics began with The Golden Bridge, Pondicherry in 1987. She has had residences in China 2008, USA 2007 and Hungary 2004. She initiated the successful Studio Potters Market model which has since been replicated in other places in the country. The market is in its fourth year in Mumbai. Thoughts from this potter at www.ceramicsometimes.blogspot.com
Rashi Jain has trained at The Golden Bridge, Pondicherry. Over the past nine years, she has assisted many ceramic artists, has been nominated for art awards, exhibited nationwide and participated in international shows, festivals, workshops and art camps. She has co-founded and organises ‘The Studio Potter’s Market’, at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai. Rashi has documented various traditional potter communities and has made an experimental film on the potters of Northeast India. The artist works from her studio in Mumbai, ‘Studio Karva’. Get to know more about her at www.studiokarva.com
Neha Kudchadkar is a potter who also trained at The Golden Bridge, Pondicherry and is a trained Kathak dancer as well. She has been a part of a number of group shows across India and also presented her first solo show in Mumbai in April 2008. More recently, Neha was in London on the Charles Wallace Scholarship as an apprentice to artists Regina Heinz and Julian Stair. She has just moved back to Mumbai from Baroda and is in the final stages of setting up her studio here.