I’m off! Tomorrow I leave for five weeks, using my Creative Pinellas Individual Artist’s Grant dollars to travel to Europe and to make art at an artists’ retreat, the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India. I’m looking forward to the peace and quiet of the retreat so that I can focus, uninterrupted, on my art which will relate to Delhi’s Yamuna River. This will be an extension of my Sanctuary series, exhibited at HCC, Dale Mabry Campus, in 2014 that addressed the increasing pollution, and depletion, of Florida’s natural springs.
While I’ve been to several artists’ retreats in the United States, I’ve never been to one in another country. With any stay at an artists’ retreat, there’s always the trepidation of being in a situation where one feels a pressure to create combined with the exhilaration of the freedom to create.
I plan to spend a day working with underprivileged children in New Delhi addressing issues of water pollution. We’ll create drawings that relate to the problems of water pollution and encourage them to devise solutions to these problems, no matter how far-fetched and fanciful. Their work will be included in the installation that is scheduled to open mid-May 2017, at Studio@620, with a working title of Sanctuary East and West.
India’s Yamuna River is the longest tributary of the Ganges at 855 miles. Nearly 57 million people depend on it’s waters, and it makes up more than 70 per cent of Delhi’s water supply. The first 233 miles of the Yamuna is “reasonably good quality” water, but then it becomes a “sewage drain” thanks to household and municipal waste water disposal, soil erosion from deforestation to make way for agriculture, which then supplies chemical wash-off from fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and run-off from commercial activity and industrial sites. Read this article from NPR to learn more about this pressing environmental concern.
My visit to India will not only be about doom and gloom: besides spending time working on my art, I plan to celebrate the holidays by exploring some of the sites of the city and possibly also the Taj Mahal.
I wish you a joyful holiday season and I look forward to reconnecting in the New Year!