From Chemould Prescott Road, we present Stalking Art, a series about pairing and conversing with art thinkers and makers on how they ponder. Through each episode we will bring together unique pairings of our artists and minds in our surrounding art world as they give us a glimpse into their perceptions on all things art.
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The Gallery As A WitnessEPISODE 1: Featuring Shireen Gandhy
How does a gallery keep up with changing art world trends? On our introductory episode we chat with our gallery’s director, Shireen Gandhy, as we delve into Chemould’s ever-evolving journey; from pioneering the early careers of Modern Masters like M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza and Ram Kumar, voyaging on to exhibiting today’s leading contemporary artists such as Nalini Malani, Nilima Shiekh and Atul Dodiya. We discuss what is ‘Indian’ about art through the works of Bhupen Khakhar and Jitish Kallat, and investigate how our artists Shilpa Gupta and Dhruvi Acharya have responded to the trauma of the pandemic; also letting newer, younger and politically engaged voices be heard. The gallery being witness to it all.
Recalling Memories: Jitish and Reena Kallat's journey togetherEPISODE 2: Featuring Jitish and Reena Kallat
In this episode, the artist power-couple Reena and Jitish Kallat take us down memory lane, giving us a glimpse into their creative partnership. From meeting and courting in art school to walking around the city; their wide-eyed curiosity led to the beginnings of their unique art practices during a time where we couldn’t carry the world’s archive in our pocket. The Kallats chat about what going to art school together was like and what art spaces were looking for when they graduated. They go on to talking about what the energy of their adjacent studio spaces is like as well as how they influence each other’s practice, the significance of coming together and giving each other critical feedback but also knowing the importance of an individual journey.
Remembering Mehlli with Jerry PintoEPISODE 3: Featuring Jerry Pinto
Through August 2021, Chemould is exhibiting a retrospective of one of India’s most special artists, Mehlli Gobhai. In this episode with Jerry Pinto, we talk about the incredible life lived by Mehlli, as Jerry, one of his closest friends, also became primary caregiver towards the end of his life. Jerry recalls how Gobhai, recallling him as “a work of art himself”, began to see art, his process of making art, using colour and his ability to make him challenge art’s very definition. Through remembering Gobhai, filled with anecdotes Jerry candidly speaks of how Mehlli did not care for the art market or critics but cared deeply of how his work did its unsuspected magic on the person who went to it and confronted it.
Gateway to GhatkoparEPISODE 4: Featuring Atul Dodiya and Kaiwan Mehta
If there is one thing Atul Dodiya and Kaiwan Mehta share, it is a deep understanding of and engagement with the city of Bombay. In this episode moderated by Mehta, the pair speak about being alive to the urban space, museums, cinema, literature and people while reading these moments through the sense of time. Dodiya speaks of his attachment to an area that he has always lived in, Ghatkopar, and being possessed with the idea of being a painter very early on, constantly being influenced by cinema, music, poetry, the Gujrati language and, of course, Gandhi. From his Chawl to the Louvre, from Chabildas to Picasso, from Gandhi to Hitchock and from his Home to the World, Dodiya speaks of the idea of creating his own universe while painting, a narrative constantly shifting depending on where he wants to centre himself, ultimately feeling like he belongs everywhere and to everyone.
Internal CorrespondencesEPISODE 4: Featuring Aditi Singh and Anurag Khanna
What started off as an exchange between artist Aditi Singh and collector Anurag Khanna on Aditi’s work, has over the past year or so evolved into an unceasing exchange between the two on art, poetry and literature. Through this episode, Aditi and Anurag speak of their thoughts: touching upon their shared love of poetry, spirituality, music, nature, and most of all drawing and art. Aditi movingly discusses deep friendships she shared with artists like Zarina Hashmi and Gieve Patel. This episode is a profound half hour of listening between a deeply engaged art collector who is able to bring out the internal world of an artist in the best possible way.
So It GoesEPISODE 5: Featuring Yardena Kurulkar and Dr. Gita ChadhaIntroduced during Yardena Kurulkar’s exhibition So It Goes at Chemould Prescott Road when asked to write for it, Dr. Gita Chadha found in Yardena’s work a placeholder for her grief after loosing a dear friend not long ago. In this episode, the pair excavate the idea of death, grief, uncertainty and recalling memories as Yardena opens up about her heritage - growing up in a religious Bene Israeli family, the death of her father, the odd-jobs she’s worked as well as the female body - the recollection of which continues to impact and appear quite evocatively in her art practice. They go on to and talk of memories as a site that not only contains personal history but also history of a community and go on to speak about what post-pandemic art will look like.
Return of the Phantom LadyEPISODE 6: Featuring Pushpamala N and Shireen Gandhy
Chemould’s Director, Shireen Gandhy and artist Pushpamala N share a relationship that goes long before Gandhy became a gallerist.
In this episode, the pair speak about how S H Raza referred Pushpamala to Chemould introducing to the gallery an artist that emerged very distinctly as a sculptor, even making her mark as one, to eventually evolving into a photo-performance artist who was ready to push her work into other kinds of making.
Through the conversation, Pushpamala recalls the many influences and events in her life that have moulded her art-making practice into what it is today - from the Bombay riots, her early understanding of feminism, to politics finding a way to enter her work.
Formerly married to an eminent film theorist and being surrounded by cinema buffs to being captivated by Photo Romance and Film Noir, recreating movie scenes and characters: from ‘Fearless Nadia’, to exploring the vulnerability of the female heroine, Pushpamala and Gandhy talk about it all.