Kala legacy - Vishwa Shroff

Artist Vishwa Shroff reflections

My work explores spatial and narrative possibilities of Urban and architectural scenarios. The subtle metamorphosis that denotes an in-between and a (simultaneously) specific moment in time is recorded through drawings. With drawing placed firmly at the centre, I have been examining commonalities with cities/urban spaces that I live in and those that I travel to, whilst contemplating the methodologies of representing space that have historically developed in these cities.

The drawings are understood as fragmented representations rather than as finished works, reminiscent of oral narratives. Such durational dialogs permit narrative and mnemonic evolvement, which have become the basis of my exchanges with colleagues and other professionals thus allowing me an insight in to technical and theoretical aspects of my practice that remain otherwise illusive. Moreover, these interactions have changed my perspective on concerns and problems that I believed to be only those of artists, but realise that I share such concerns with those outside the artistic realm. These knowledge barters, facilitated by residencies and travel grants (both, awarded to me and those awarded to peers) have enabled and fostered long term relationships. Relationships that have not only seen my personal knowledge transform but have led to long term collaborations and are now compelling me to alter my role from being a benefactor to being a facilitator.

Vishwa Shroff

One such relationship has been with Charlie Levine, who I was introduced to while on the Associate Artist Residency at the ACME project Space in 2012 and subsequently spent a month with Levine as an Artist in residence at the ClarkeGriffithsLevine Residency at TROVE, Birmingham. The on-going conversations and the ways of looking at spatiality over the last 6 years have led to her curating my solo show at TARQ gallery in Mumbai in 2016 and my participation in several projects initiated by Levine including Exchange Rates: Bushwick Exchange in NY (2014), Pop! Bank! Wallop! At TROVE (2012) and the Swiss Cottage Library residency, London (2017). Furthermore, Levine travelled to India in 2014 with the Moving Image project. This not only led to a more intensive time to discuss our understanding of spatial interaction within our individual practices, but also permitted us to extend our dialog towards our individual networks, bringing together Indian and UK artists on the Cornered Stories project that we collaborated on in 2015.

With this in mind, we (i.e. Charlie Levine (curator. UK), Katsushi Goto (architect, Japan) and I) have been conceptualising SqW:Lab, a knowledge exchange platform to investigate the role of drawing within architectural, curatorial and artistic practices, debating drawing methodologies and processes, and how these become instruments or strategies towards deciphering shared urban and architectural concerns. This annual program will run at the SqW:Lab project space in Mumbai, bringing together our individual networks for a period of 3 months. Each 3 month Program will invite 10 practioners to bring their individual expertise to this table.

Vishwa Shroff started her artist training at The Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Baroda in 1998. She continued on to the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (UK) in 2003. Her career so far has seen five solo exhibitions –‘Drawn Spaces ‘ (2016)and ‘Postulating Premises’ (2015) at TARQ Gallery, ‘One Eye! Two Eyes! Three Eyes!’( 2012) at the Acme Project Space, London, ‘Memories of a Known Place’ (2012), Birmingham (UK) and ‘Room: Collaborative Book Show’ (2011), Vadodara (India). Besides participating in artist residencies all over the world, Shroff has also been a part of group exhibitions such as ‘Again and Yet Again’ (2017) at Gallery OED, Cochin, (India), ‘Planes of Experience, Zones of Action’ (2017) at Goethe Institut-Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai,‘Reading Room’ (2016) at Saffron Art, New York, ‘Reading Room: Leaves, Threads and Traces’ (2015), The Winchester Gallery (UK), ‘Bartered Collections’ (2015) by Cona Projects at the Mumbai Art Room and ‘Momento Mori’ (2015) at TARQ Gallery. She was the recipeint of the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists in 2011


Read curator and commissioner Charlie Levine's article here