Dear viewers, participants and well wishers,
These last few years we have seen the pandemic wreak havoc in myriad ways.
The first wave of the pandemic got buried in the catastrophe of the lockdown. None of us were certain which was the bigger tragedy – the pandemic or the livelihoods that got devastated in the wake of it’s management leaving people and animals unable to fend for themselves.
As an organisation that works towards an arts and cultural ecosystem we were left floundering with the sheer magnitude that an already beleaguered system would need to overcome. In the first wave we did two things – crowdfunding to support 37 artists left marooned during the lockdown, and then we launched a multi-layered documentation with the support of our curator Helen Frederick – newsletters, webinars and an open instagram handle called ‘The Environmental Situation Room’ to host contextual artworks from across genres of arts and artists.
And then came the brutal second wave. This is when Dr. Paula Sengupta and we spoke on how printmaking should participate in creating a reflection of the time – a virtual and physical archive that could reflect the anguish of humanity and the systemic breakdown of structures we all depend on. By this time digital fatigue had become all consuming and artists needed something purposeful and physical to engage in so they could participate and express their sensitivity to the world around them.
The campaign was planned and launched on 12th May 2021 amidst a raging pandemic. The submission date was extended multiple times due to practical challenges that artists were facing – access to paper, tools, printing facilities. We have finally been able to sift through works with Paula at the helm to create a story telling narrative.
This exhibition is now available on a dedicated portal http://www.livinginadarknight.in to honour a time where humanity rose to the occasion despite a larger structural collapse. The physical works from this collection will be available as folios for purchase by keen collectors and the funds collected will then be placed at the disposal of
young printmakers for support in their practices.
We remain ever grateful to artists, art educators and art students in India and globally who strove to submit their works despite many constraints, and to a supportive team made up of Dr. Paula Sengupta, Helen Frederick, Nilanjan Das, Avni Bansal and students of O.P. Jindal University. Without their hard work and perseverance this
project would not be possible.
We hope you enjoy the exhibition in the spirit of collective sharing and healing as it was envisioned.
Managing Trustee for The Kala Chaupal Trust