"While many women study and work in the field of arts, it seemed strange to me that this was not reflected in the art world more generally," explains Antonia Marsh, curator of the Girls Only exhibition that began as a studio residency programme in New York in 2014. It subsequently travelled to London and Copenhagen to much acclaim.
Anuradha for Art Room Foundation at Dharavi
Today, the initiative will showcase the work of 15 women artists working in India at Ministry of New, a recently opened design-inspired collaborative workspace, at Fort. Marsh explains that she started Girls Only as a reaction against the lack of opportunities for female artists in galleries and museums, which she noticed when she began curating.
Souls by Julianna Byrne
"In order to be productive and make moves towards fixing this issue, we decided to create some such opportunities. We now hold residencies, curate exhibitions, publish artist books and hold events to promote the work of as many female artists as we can," she says.
Virtually-Real-Really-Virtual by Atita-Taware
Soon enough, India emerged as a possibility for her as she was "astounded" by the range and wealth of insightful, complex and radical work that is being made in the country.
Installation by Prajakta Potnis inspired by GM food
"We wanted to show as much of this as possible, so we have 15 artists exhibiting across an extensive and varied range of media — painting, sculpture, drawing, film, video, installation, performance, textiles, written word and photography. Incorporating all these into a show was challenging, but rewarding nonetheless," she explains.
To Conquer Her Land by Poulomi Basu
Among those whose works will be exhibited are installations by city-based artist Prajakta Potnis.
"My installation is made inside a refrigerator and was a result of me learning about Genetically Modified vegetables," she says.
Potnis is excited to be a part of this show and has not yet met or spoken to the other artists.
"This is a good initiative that should be able to connect women artists in India," she believes. Also in this fascinating list are Art Room Foundation's images of Dharavi clicked by young girls when they were given digital cameras to capture the world around them.
As for Marsh, she is having fun in Mumbai. "The city is breathtaking, such a beautifully busy environment to curate an exhibition in. While we have faced challenges, as anyone would in a new place, everyone we have met has been so helpful, supportive and encouraging towards our endeavour. I can't wait to come back," she signs off.
On today, 6 pm onwards
At Ministry Of New, 192, Kitab Mahal, Fort.
Log on to www.facebook.com/events/350524725071846/permalink/352601084864210/
Meet the artists
Art Room Foundation
Shreya Dev Dube
Girl Skate India