Art for Inclusion, an India Inclusion Foundation initiative, features stunning works by artists with disabilities
The India Inclusion Summit 2019 is currently on at Bengaluru and among the highlights of the two-day programme was an exhibition by eight artists with disabilities called Art for Inclusion. Come see some stunning works made by artists with varying disabilities displayed and highlighted in accessible ways by Access For ALL.
A year ago, when T V Aishwarya picked up a painting brush for the first time after she lost her vision in 2008, little did she imagine the world she was stepping into. Today, she is a thriving tactile artist who confidently uses different materials like beads and straws to give expression to her creative side.
Skills evident in her two works Aghast and Floral Vogue that are currently on display at the Art for Inclusion exhibition held on the sidelines of the India Inclusion Summit 2019. “Aghast is a painting of a woman’s face leaning into a mirror with a shocked expression. What has shocked her? That’s for the viewer to imagine”.
Aishwarya is among eight artists to be featured at the Art for Inclusion exhibition. This is an initiative supported by the India Inclusion Foundation that aims to highlight the abilities of artists with disabilities. Like Aishwarya, many of the artists featured this year started painting recently, like Dr Shantipriya Siva, who paints her feelings and experiences as a Parkinson’s patient.
This is my first art exhibition and I started painting by chance after attending the art exhibition of a friend’s daughter. I paint my moods and feelings and I feel like this will ease my pain away. I paint all the emotions of living with Parkinson’s disease. This is my self, my thoughts and expressions and it gives me immense happiness. – Dr Shantipriya Siva, Artist & Founder, SAAR Foundation
The other artists to be featured are Anu Jain, Brian Varghese Pradeep, Jesfer P Kottakkunnu, Niyaz Hussain, Payal Shirishrimal and Sridhar TR. The jury this year included international speed painter Vilas Nayak, renowned mouth and foot artist Ramakrishnan, graphic artist Sriram Jagannathan and art curator Abhishek Poddar.
“There were 80 artists with disabilities who applied out of which Art For Inclusion team shortlisted 28”, says Ramakrishnan. “We had to choose the final eight and this was quite hard given the outstanding quality of work”.
Heritage architect and accessibility consultant Siddhant Shah, whose organisation Access for ALL is the access partner, worked closely with the chosen artists in making the exhibition accessible.
“In other exhibitions, accessibility comes in later after its set up. Here, accessibility and inclusion were considered at the inception”, says Siddhant. “So, if you see the text in the guide is in Sans Serif font which is a large font and easy to read, Braille and audio guides and tactile art productions and other inclusive facilities. The idea is to create as many bridges as possible”. Siddhant is also helping the artists with disabilities market themselves. “Their work is so brilliant, it should be out there. We are talking to them about how to network and collaborate like other artists are doing”.
“This is art we can touch, feel and understand”, says Niraali, a visitor to the exhibition. “I find them all striking”.
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