‘Super-excited’ by residency in US

Dunedin artist Arati Kushwaha will spend next month in the United States on an artist’s residency...
Dunedin artist Arati Kushwaha will spend next month in the United States on an artist’s residency. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Dunedin artist Arati Kushwaha cannot wait to take up a prestigious month-long residency in the United States next month.

A graduate of Dunedin School of Art, Kushwaha has been accepted for the 2020 Artist in Residence at the Vermont Studio Centre, Johnson, in the US.

As well as having her accommodation, meals and travel expenses covered, with the support of the Jan Warburton Charitable Trust, Kushwaha will attend a range of lectures and workshops.

The residency, which runs from March 1 to 20, will also offer Kushwaha the opportunity to meet, and learn from, more than 50 artists and writers from the US and around the world.

“I am super-excited by this opportunity to familiarise myself with the US art scene and cultural environment and meet so many artists and writers,” she said.

Kushwaha, who was born in Maharashtra, India, completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Visual Art at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin School of Art in 2015, then returned to complete a Master of Visual Art (2018), majoring in sculpture.

Last year, she was accepted as the 2019 Artist in Residence with KulturKontakt Austria.

“I think any residency works well if there is some active collaboration, that the artist feels something has happened or changed, knowledge is gained. Place and people, too, have a certain impact,” Kushwaha said.

“More importantly, the Vermont Studio Centre residency will give me time and space to develop my artistic practice.

‘‘I contextualise my practice by looking around at current exhibitions.

‘‘Researching artist works will inform my research strategies and group show participation will enable my work to stand in contrast with others.”

On finishing the residency, Kushwaha will return to Dunedin, where she will continue to focus on gender equity and education.

“Gender, identity, sexuality, femininity, self-induced abortion and destruction have been persistent themes throughout my life.

“Collectively, in all human societies, women’s sexuality has often been portrayed as something scary, weird, threatening and terrifyingly abject, more monster than human.”

- Staff reporter 

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